Hainan Space Launch Center

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Last Updated: August 6, 2012
Other Name: 海南卫星发射中心; Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
Location: Wenchang City, Hainan Province, China
Subordinate To: China National Space Administration
Size: A 3,000-acre facility roughly 800 meters from the South China Sea. The site has a space launch port, theme park, rocket launch base, command center, and a rocket assembling plant. The facility also conducts operations at the nearby Wenchang port.
Facility Status: Under Construction

The State Council and the Central Military Commission approved the Hainan Space Launch Center (HSLC) at the end of 2008, and construction, started in September 2009, is scheduled to for completion in 2013. [1] HSLC will be able to transfer, test, and launch rocket-carriers, and provide logistic, meteorological, telecommunications and technological services. [2] Once operational, the facility will be capable of supporting up to twelve launches per year and will be the largest launch site in China. [3]

Its proximity to the ocean is ideal for handling the new generation Long March-5 (Changzheng-5) space launch vehicles, instead transporting them by land. [4] Chinese media reports that as a result of the facility’s low-latitude location, a vehicle being launched from HSLC will be capable of carrying 7.4 percent more cargo than a vehicle launched from the Xichang Space Launch Center. [5] If the HLSC begins launching satellites currently handled by Xichang, Xichang could begin focusing solely on military launches. [6]

[1] “New Space Launch Center to be Built in Hainan,” China Daily, 2 March 2009, www.chinadaily.com.cn; “Hainan Satellite Launch Centre,” Dragon in Space, 1 April 2012; Stephen Chen, “New Centre in Hainan to Help Space Industry Soar; Tropical Facility Designed to Attract Satellite Business,” South China Morning Post, 15 September 2009, via: www.lexisnexis.com.
[2] “New Space Launch Center to be Built in Hainan,” China Daily, 2 March 2009, www.chinadaily.com.cn.
[3] “China Begins Space Launch Centre construction in Hainan Province,” BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, 14 September 2009, via: www.lexisnexis.com.
[4] “China Begins Space Center Construction in Hainan,” The Global Times, 14 September 2009, www.globaltimes.cn.
[5] “Space Center Takes Giant Leap Forward,” The People’s Daily, 15 September 2009, www.peopledaily.com.cn.
[6] Minnie Chan, “New Satellite Launch Base Set for 2014 Hainan Liftoff,” South China Morning Post, 21 August 2008, via: www.lexisnexis.com.

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