Xichang

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Xichang
西昌市 · ꀒꎂꏃ
County-level city
Location of Xichang City jurisdiction (red) within Liangshan Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Location of Xichang City jurisdiction (red) within Liangshan Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Xichang is located in Sichuan
Xichang
Xichang
Location in Sichuan
Coordinates: 27°53′40″N 102°15′52″E / 27.89444°N 102.26444°E / 27.89444; 102.26444Coordinates: 27°53′40″N 102°15′52″E / 27.89444°N 102.26444°E / 27.89444; 102.26444
Country People's Republic of China
Province Sichuan
Prefecture Liangshan
Municipal seat Beicheng Subdistrict (北城街道)
Area
 • Total 2,651 km2 (1,024 sq mi)
Elevation 1,542 m (5,059 ft)
Population (2004)
 • Total 126,700
 • Density 48/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 615000
Area code(s) 0834
Xichang
XC name.svg
"Xichang", as written in Chinese
Chinese name
Chinese 西昌
Literal meaning Western Prosperity
Yi name
Yi ꀒꎂ
Romanisation:(Op Rro)

Xichang is a city in and the seat of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, in the south of Sichuan province, People's Republic of China. In 2004 it had a population of 126,700.

Geography[edit]

Xichang lies near the border of southern Sichuan and is in a rather mountainous region of the province. The city is just northeast of the prefecture-level city of Panzhihua. The Anning River, which runs into Yalong River, a tributary of the Jinsha River (Yangtze River headwaters), is the main river in the area.

Climate[edit]

Owing to its low latitude and high elevation, Xichang has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) milder and far sunnier than the Sichuan Basin, with mild, very sunny and dry winters, and very warm, rainy summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 9.6 °C (49.3 °F) in January to 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 16.90 °C (62.4 °F). Over 60% of the 1,010 mm (40 in) annual precipitation occurs from June to August. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 36% in September to 72% in January, the city receives 2,367 hours of bright sunshine annually.

Climate data for Xichang (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.6
(61.9)
19.2
(66.6)
23.6
(74.5)
26.5
(79.7)
27.6
(81.7)
26.9
(80.4)
27.5
(81.5)
27.8
(82)
24.6
(76.3)
22.0
(71.6)
19.1
(66.4)
16.2
(61.2)
23.1
(73.6)
Average low °C (°F) 4.1
(39.4)
6.2
(43.2)
9.8
(49.6)
12.8
(55)
15.9
(60.6)
17.9
(64.2)
18.8
(65.8)
18.3
(64.9)
16.2
(61.2)
13.3
(55.9)
9.0
(48.2)
5.0
(41)
12.3
(54.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 5.6
(0.22)
5.6
(0.22)
14.7
(0.579)
27.6
(1.087)
88.7
(3.492)
199.9
(7.87)
240.0
(9.449)
180.1
(7.091)
153.2
(6.031)
71.4
(2.811)
20.0
(0.787)
6.8
(0.268)
1,013.6
(39.905)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.2 3.0 4.7 8.7 14.7 19.2 18.6 16.3 17.0 12.9 5.7 2.7 125.7
 % humidity 52 46 42 48 57 72 76 73 76 73 67 62 62.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 234.5 221.8 257.1 247.7 221.7 152.3 167.1 191.1 133.4 153.2 181.0 205.7 2,366.6
Percent possible sunshine 72 70 69 65 53 37 39 47 36 43 56 64 53
Source: China Meteorological Administration [1]

Transportation[edit]

Xichang Railway Station (西昌站) is a main station on the railway line Kunming - Chengdu. Construction of a fast express train line has been completed, and has considerably shortenened travelling times to Panzhihua, Chengdu and Guangyuan. There are also some other stations in the city, including the Xichang North railway station and Xichang South railway station.

The city possesses its own airport, Xichang Qingshan Airport, which is attached to the spaceport by a railroad line and a motorway directly.

Xichang lies on the Motorway Kunming - Chengdu. The section to the south is open for traffic, but the mountainous section to Chengdu in the north is still under construction.

Spaceport[edit]

Xichang's spaceport is located about 64 kilometres (40 mi) northwest of the city and went into operation in 1984. Communications satellites are the most common payload to be inserted into orbit from the Xichang spaceport. A number of Long March 3 rockets have been launched from the spaceport.

As a result of the decision by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration to stop sending commercial payloads into orbit following the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, a commercial launching service for communications satellites has thrived at the Xichang spaceport. Xichang has offered launching services for about half the cost of the competing European consortium's Ariane service.

On January 26, 1995, a Long March 2E rocket veered off course two seconds after take-off from the spaceport and exploded, killing at least six on the ground. On February 14, 1996, a similar failure occurred during the launch of Intelsat 708.[2] The rocket veered severely off course right after clearing the launch tower and landed in a rural village. Xinhua News Agency initially reported six deaths and 56 injuries.[3] The number of civilian deaths has been disputed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年) (in Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  2. ^ "China's Space Disasters". Discovery. 
  3. ^ "96年火箭发射失控爆炸全过程". 大旗网. September 15, 2007. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  • Select Committee of the United States House of Representatives (1999-01-03). "Satellite Launches in the PRC: Loral". U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 2007-06-30.  (Congressional report discussing Intelsat 708 launch failure and possible technology transfer)
  • "2002 State Dept. Charge Letter to Hughes". Softwar. 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-30.  (Documents on Intelsat 708 and export controls, including State Department letter charging two companies with export law violations)
  • Anatoly Zak (February 2013). "Disaster at Xichang". Air & Space Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-21.  (Article on the crash of a rocket carrying a commercial payload on February 15, 1996)

External links[edit]