Beijing: China successfully launched a satellite in Sichuan province, completing the country's first data relay satellite network system.
The Tianlian I-03 satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket Wednesday, said authorities.
Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the satellite will join its two predecessors to realise global network operation after in-orbit validation and system coordination procedures are carried out, reported Xinhua.
The first data relay satellite, the Tianlian I-01, was launched in April 2008, and the second was launched in July 2011.
The third satellite is expected to improve the network's coverage in providing measurement and control services for China's manned spacecraft as well as the planned construction of future space labs and space stations.