China launches new Tianlian data relay satellite for space station in 50th orbital launch of 2021

China’s 50th orbital launch of 2021 sent a new data relay satellite into orbit on Monday (Dec. 13) to support the country’s space station and crewed missions.

A Long March 3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at (1609 GMT, or 12:09 a.m. local time Dec. 14), successfully sending the Tianlian 2 (02) satellite into an orbit which will see it later arrive in a fixed position over the Earth.