China Completes New Spaceport

china_flagChinese officials have announced the completion of the nation’s fourth launch center, one that has a distinct advantage over the other three: rockets stages will fall over the ocean rather than on land.

Located in the southern island province of Hainan, the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center has the advantage of being at a latitude of 19 degrees north of the equator, which is lower than China’s other launch centers in Sichuan and Shanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The location is better for launching communications satellites, which are sent to positions over the equator.

Wenchang will also be ideal for launching the heavy-lift Long March 5, which is now under development. Stages for the larger rocket can be transported to the launch site by water. Rockets must travel by rail to the three inland launch facilities.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    Is this anything like Spaceport America: a spaceport without a rocket?

  • DavidR2014

    I think you will find that the Chinese have rockets.

  • DavidR2014

    Nice to see that the Chinese are learning: Failed rockets will now land in the sea…

  • Sam Moore

    LM-5 is a while from seeing flight, but it’s also intended for the new medium-lift LM-7, which is effectively ready.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    I was kinda wondering what’s up with the eastern pad. They added a zig-zag crawlerway after the construction already started. Apparently CZ-7 and CZ-5 do not use the same pads (unlike e.g. Russian A-1 and A-5).

  • Vladislaw

    The Long March 5 has like 6 configurations, I wonder how long it will take to actually launch the CZ-5-504 this is the 25 ton version. I believe they need that to launch their future space station.

  • Sam Moore

    The designations for the future rocket family are a tad complicated; only the CZ-5-5XX are properly called CZ-5 rockets, whereas CZ-5-3XX are CZ-7 and CZ-5-2XX are CZ-6. Oh, and CZ-7 used to be CZ-2F/H.

  • windbourne

    Ouch.

  • windbourne

    Well, spacex could launch it for them.
    And cheaper.

  • Tonya

    Except that the FH also seems to be suffering from its own schedule delays.

  • therealdmt

    Okay, thanks, That makes sense now 😉