Big 2021 for China in space, communications satellite launch

The launch of the Tiantong 1-03 communications satellite on Tuesday (Jan. 19) marked the start of a very busy year in space for China.

A Long March 3B rocket lifted off at 11:25 a.m. EST Jan. 19 (1625 GMT, 12:25 a.m. local time on Jan. 20) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the hills of China’s Sichuan province.

Just under an hour later the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), China’s main space contractor, confirmed that the satellite had been successfully inserted into geosynchronous transfer orbit — a path satellites take to reach a geostationary orbit high above the Earth.

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