In China’s Sichuan Province, a new data relay satellite was launched on Monday. While state-run media report this second Chinese satellite will increase data transfer services for China’s spacecraft and planned space station, not everyone is convinced that is the only motive for the launch.
The Tianlian I-02 satellite will form a network with the first Chinese data satellite sent up in April 2008. It’s to provide data transfer, measurement, and control services.
There are however, complaints from Western countries that China’s satellites can be used to greatly expand their military target range.
The Chinese regime, though, has consistently denied any possible military uses for the technology.
[Hong Lei, Spokesman, Chinese Foreign Ministry]:
“We believe that space should be used for peaceful purposes only and to benefit the people. China calls for peaceful use of the space, opposes militarization and arms race in space and is willing to co-operate with other countries.”
State-run media Xinhua reports that the satellite will also be used in the nation’s first space docking, scheduled for later this year.