Long March 3C launches the Tianlian 1-04

Tianlian 1-05 | Long March 3C/E

Lift Off Time
July 06, 2021 – 15:53 UTC | 23:53 BJT
Mission Name
Tianlian 1-05
Launch Provider
(What rocket company launched it?)
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
(Who paid for this?)
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
Long March 3C/E
Launch Location
LC-2, Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China
Payload mass
2,400 kg (5291 Ib)
Where did the satellite go?
Geostationary Transfer Orbit
Did they attempt to recover the first stage?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 3C/E
Where did the first stage land?
It crashed on land in mainland China
Did they attempt to recover the fairings?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 3C/E
Were these fairings new?
How was the weather?
This was the:
– 21st Chinese launch attempt of 2021
– 65th orbital launch attempt of 2021 (63rd successful)

– 132rd launch of a rocket in the Long March 3 rocket family
– 8th launch of the Long March 3C/E
Where to watch
If available, an official replay will be listed here

How did it go?

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) successfully launched the Tianlian 1-05 satellite atop a Long March 3C/E rocket, marking China’s third successful launch in four days. The satellite joins the four other Tianlian-1 satellites currently in geostationary orbit (GEO), providing communications coverage for the Shenzhou missions and the Tiangong Space Station.

The Long March 3C/E launches the Tianlian 1-05 satellite (Credit: CNSA)

What is the Tianlian 1-05?

The Tianlian 1-05 is the fifth satellite in the Chinese data tracking and relay communications satellite series, Tianlian 1. The series provides communication coverage for the crewed Shenzhou missions, from the Shenzhou 7 mission onwards, as well as for the Tiangong Space Station.

The satellites are based on the DFH-3 satellite bus (a three-axis-stabilized telecommunications satellite platform), and functionally the series is similar to the United States Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. Each of the previous satellites were launched atop a Long March 3C rocket into a geostationary transfer orbit. The Tianlian 1-01 was launched on 25 April 2008, the Tianlian 1-02 on 11 July 2011, the Tianlian 1-03 on 25 July 2012, and the Tianlian 1-04 on 22 November 2016.

What is the Long March 3C/E?

The Long March 3C/E is a three-stage launch vehicle and member of the Long March 3 rocket family. First launching on 23 October, 2014, it is the enhanced version of the Long March 3C rocket. It is capable of putting 8,000 kg into low-Earth orbit.

The Long March 3C (Credit: Xinhua)


The first stage is supported by two strap on boosters, each 16.1 m in length and powered by YF-25 engines. The engines run on dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH), each producing 740.4 kN of thrust. The boosters burn for 140 seconds.

First Stage

The first stage has four Y4-21C engines which, like the YF-25 engines on the boosters, run on N2O4 and UDMH. The first stage burns for 158 seconds and produces 2,960 kN of thrust. It is 24.7 m in length and 3.35 m in diameter.

Second Stage

The second stage has a YF-24E engine module. The module contains one main YF-24E engine for thrust, and four YF-23C verniers. The main engine produces 742 kN of thrust while the verniers each produce 47.1 kN of thrust. Just like the booster and first stage engines, these run on N2O4 and UDMH. This stage is 12.9 m in length and 3.3 m in diameter and burns for 185 seconds.

Third Stage

The rocket’s third stage has a single YF-75 engine which run liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LOx) and produces 167 kN of thrust. The stage is 12.3 m in length and 3 m in diameter, and burns for 487 seconds.

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