Taiyuan Space Launch Center

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Last Updated: December 13, 2012
Other Name: General Armaments Department (GAD) Base 25; Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC); Wuzhai Space and Missile Test Center; Wuzhai Range/Missile Test Center; Wuzhai IRBM Test Complex; Taiyuan Space Center (TSC)
Location: Taiyuan, Shanxi Province
Subordinate To: People’s Liberation Army General Armaments Department (GAD)
Size: Two primary carrier rocket launch pads and other associated facilities
Facility Status: Active

The Taiyuan Space Launch Center (TSLC) tests and launches ballistic missiles, carrier rockets, reconnaissance and meteorological satellites, and microsatellites. [1] The U.S. Intelligence Community refers to the TSLC as the Wuzhai Missile and Space Centre, but Wuzhai County is 284 kilometers away from TSLC, which is based in Kelan County. [2] The TSLC was established in 1967 to launch rockets and missiles too large for the Jiuquan Space Launch Center (JSLC). [3] TSLC has modern ground control and guidance facilities, as well as spacecraft and carrier rocket testing and preparation facilities. [4]

Missiles tested at TSLC include the DF-21 and DF-3 medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs), and the DF-5 and DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). [5] TSLC also conducted initial tests for the Julang-1 (JL-1) sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). [6]

Additionally, TSLC launches carrier rockets including the Long March-2 (LM-2) and LM-4 series.[7] TLSC supports both low- and medium- earth orbit launches. China’s first meteorological satellite, the Fengyun-1A (FY-1A), was launched from the center in September 1988. [8] Other satellites launched there include the Yaogan-1, Yaogan-5, Yaogan-6, Yaogan-10 and Yaogan-13 synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) reconnaissance satellites, the Naxing-1 (NS-1), KT-1PS and Xiwang-1 research microsatellites as well as the ZY-1 and ZY-3 utility satellites. [9]

Sources:
[1] Mark A Stokes and Dean Cheng, “China’s Evolving Space Capabilities: Implications for U.S. Interests,” Project 2049 Institute, 26 April 2012, http://project2049.net.
[2] “Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre,” Dragon in Space, 1 April 2012, www.dragoninspace.com.
[3] “中国的航天发射中心 [China’s Space Launch Centers],” Xinhua News Agency, 8 October 2003, www.news.xinhuanet.com; “Space Launch Sites Around the World,” Space Today Online, 2004, www.spacetoday.org.
[4] “Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center,” Launch Site, China Great Wall Industry Corporation, 2005, www.cgwic.com.
[5] “World Space Centers,” Rocket & Space Technology, 2000, www.braeunig.us.
[6] “Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre,” Dragon in Space, 1 April 2012, www.dragoninspace.com; Mark A. Stokes, “The People’s Liberation Army and China’s Space and Missile Development: Lessons from the Past and Prospects for the Future,” in Laurie Burkitt, Andrew Scobell, Larry Wortzel, eds., The Lessons of History: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army at 75 (Strategic Studies Institute, 2003), www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil.
[7] “Space Launch Sites Around the World,” Space Today Online, 2004, www.spacetoday.org.
[8] Lin Zhi, ed., “Backgrounder: China’s Four Space Launch Bases,” Xinhua News Agency, 10 January 2010, www.news.xinhuanet.com.
[9] Mark Stokes, “China’s Evolving conventional Strategic Strike Capability: The Anti-ship Ballistic Missile Challenge to U.S. Maritime Operation in the Western Pacific and Beyond,” Project 2049 Institute, 14 September 2009, http://project2049.net; Mark A Stokes and Dean Cheng, “China’s Evolving Space Capabilities: Implications for U.S. Interests,” Project 2049 Institute, 26 April 2012, http://project2049.net.

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