Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site

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Coordinates: 19°36′52″N 110°57′04″E / 19.614354°N 110.951057°E / 19.614354; 110.951057

Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site
文昌航天发射场
Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site is located in Hainan
Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site
Location within Hainan
General information
StatusIn use[1]
LocationWenchang, Hainan, China
Coordinates19°36′52.17″N 110°57′4.08″E / 19.6144917°N 110.9511333°E / 19.6144917; 110.9511333
Opened2014[1]
Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site
Simplified Chinese文昌航天发射场
Traditional Chinese文昌航天發射場

Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site (文昌航天发射场[2][3]), located in Wenchang, Hainan, China. It is one of the two spacecraft launch sites of Xichang Satellite Launch Center (the other site is in Xichang).[4][5][6]

It is a former sub-orbital test center. It is China's fourth and southernmost space vehicle launch facility (spaceport). It has been specially selected for its low latitude, which is only 19 degrees north of the equator, which will allow for a substantial increase in payload, necessary for the future manned program, space station and deep space exploration program. Furthermore, it is capable of launching the new heavy-lift Long March 5 booster, currently the most powerful Chinese rocket.[7]

Unlike the space centers on the mainland whose rail tracks are too narrow to transport the new five meter core boosters, Wenchang uses its sea port for deliveries. Initial launches of the CZ-5 booster from Wenchang were, as of early 2008, expected in 2014, one year after the intended commissioning of the Wenchang Launch Site.[8] They were later shifted to 2016.[9] The CZ-5B (max payload to LEO) variant will fly around 2018.[10] But CZ-5 carrier rocket was already shipped from North China's Tianjin port at 20 September 2015 for a rehearsal (some drills carried out on the launch pad that involves both the carrier rocket and a probe) of a scheduled Chang'e-5 lunar mission planned around 2019.[11]

The construction of the site was completed by October, 2014.[1] The first launch took place successfully at 20:00, June 25, 2016.[12]

Planning and construction[edit]

Political considerations had postponed the construction of a large space center in Hainan many times as it was considered too vulnerable to foreign attack. Following the end of the Cold War and the easing of global tensions, new projects for its development were submitted.

According to a report by China Central Television (CCTV),[13] the construction of the new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center was officially approved by the State Council and the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China on September 22, 2007.

In late October 2007, the Mayor of Wenchang announced that 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of land would be obtained for the center and more than 6,000 people, mostly from the villages of Longlou (龙楼, 19°39′07″N 110°57′47″E / 19.652°N 110.963°E / 19.652; 110.963 (Longlou village)) and Dongjiao (东郊, 19°34′01″N 110°52′01″E / 19.567°N 110.867°E / 19.567; 110.867 (Dongjiao village)) would be relocated as a consequence.[14]

A subsequent article in November 2007 indicated that the actual launch site would be near Longlou, while a space-science theme park would be built near Dongjiao.[15] Satellite photography of April, 2011 shows a new clearing 19°36′50″N 110°57′05″E / 19.6139°N 110.9513°E / 19.6139; 110.9513 (Possible new site of launch facility) near the beach that is consistent with artist's concept pictures of the CZ-5 launch pad that have been displayed in China.

Launch pads[edit]

  • A total of three launch pads are planned.

One of launch pad is designed for a CZ-5 rocket launcher.[16] Another launch pad made for the CZ-7 rocket launcher.[17]

Launch history[edit]

Long March 5 Y2 being transported from assembly building to 101 launch site

The first launch was a Long March 7 which took place successfully at 20:00, June 25, 2016. It was scheduled to lift off at 19:30 but was delayed half an hour.[12]

On November 3, 2016, Long March 5 rocket made its maiden flight from the launch site.[18][19]

A Long March 5 scheduled for July 2, 2017 failed to complete its mission to put a seven-tonne Shijian-18 communications satellite into orbit approximately 1 hour after lift off at 11:23 GMT. Adding propellant started on June 1, 2017. The rocket had arrived at the base in early May where it was assembled and tested. The launch was broadcast live on television.[20][21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Marcia S. Smith. "China's New Wenchang Space Launch Site Ready for Action". Spacepolicyonline.com. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  2. ^ “中国文昌航天发射场”获命名,基本满足卫星发射各种要求,澎湃新闻,2016-11-03
  3. ^ “长征五号”发射成功 全程回顾,凤凰网,2016-11-04
  4. ^ "西昌卫星发射中心40载建功中国航天纪实" (in Chinese). 中国新闻网. January 5, 2001. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "驰骋两场打胜仗——记西昌卫星发射中心党委统领两个发射场建设" (in Chinese). 新华网. June 30, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "盘点西昌卫星发射中心对外航天发射" (in Chinese). 中华人民共和国国防部. November 21, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Hainan showcases model of Wenchang Space Center (海南首次展出文昌航天发射场设计模型图)" (in Chinese). China Picture Network (中国新闻图片网). April 29, 2008. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  8. ^ China's New Carrier Rocket To Debut In 2014
  9. ^ "Long March 5". Integrated Space Analytics. 2015-07-19. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  10. ^ "Chang Zheng-5 (Long March-5) – SinoDefence". Sinodefence.com. Archived from the original on 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  11. ^ "China to rehearse new carrier rocket for lunar mission - Xinhua | English.news.cn". News.xinhuanet.com. 2015-09-20. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  12. ^ a b http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-06/25/content_25853917.htm
  13. ^ "China to construct the new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (中国将在海南省文昌市建设新的航天发射场)" (in Chinese). Sohu. September 22, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  14. ^ "Six Thousand People to be Resettled to Make Way for New Space Launch Center". October 29, 2010. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  15. ^ China Completes Enclosure Of Land For Fourth Satellite Launch Center
  16. ^ David, Leonard (2014-04-02). "China's New Spaceport to Launch Country's Largest Rocket Yet". Space.com. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  17. ^ "More details on the Hainan Space Centre emerging – SinoDefence". Sinodefence.com. 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  18. ^ "Spaceflightnow launch schedule". Spaceflightnow. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  19. ^ http://english.cctv.com/2016/11/03/VIDEGU4PJXO0jBpEllCdD5KH161103.shtml
  20. ^ http://en.people.cn/n3/2017/0702/c90000-9235884.html
  21. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-40473471/chinese-rocket-launch-fails-one-hour-after-lift-off

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX