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Due to the high bit error rate and varying propagation delay over satellite channels, transmission control protocol (TCP)'s performance degrades considerably. In this work, we propose a novel hop-by-hop link layer relay mechanism to enhance TCP throughput in multi-hop satellite IP networks, e.g., Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite networks, Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite networks or hierarchical LEO/MEO satellite networks. Analytical methodology is used to estimate the performance of this mechanism first. Then simulations have been carried out to prove it. Numerical results show TCP throughput increases significantly when channel is in poor condition with link layer relay mechanism deployed.