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China builds new center to launch space station

China's fourth and most advanced space launch center is set to launch the country's space station and cargo spacecraft.

Updated:October 26, 2014, 6:50 PM IST
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China builds new center to launch space station
China's fourth and most advanced space launch center is set to launch the country's space station and cargo spacecraft.

Beijing: China's fourth and most advanced space launch center which will boost the carrying capacity of Chinese rockets manifold is set to launch the country's space station and cargo spacecraft.

The Wenchang satellite launch center in south Hainan Province will be used mainly for geosynchronous orbiters, large-tonnage space stations, cargo spacecraft and large polar orbit satellites taking the China's space programme to new level, Tao Zhongshan, chief engineer of the Xichang launch center said.

Wenchang has an advantage for transportation of modules of such spacecraft as it is located near a seaport.

The site's low latitude will also help the carrying capacity of rockets by about 10 per cent, compared to Xichang.

The Chang'e-5 moonlander, which will collect samples and return to Earth, will be launched from Wenchang, probably in 2017, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Once put into use, Wenchang, along with the three other centers in Jiuquan, Xichang and Taiyuan, will all have their different functions.

In a recent interview, Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut and deputy chief of China's Manned Space Agency, said the Tiangong-2 space lab will be launched around 2016, followed by the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft and Tianzhou cargo craft to rendezvous with the lab.

A core module for space station to rival Russia's Mir space station will be launched around 2018 and the station will be completed around 2022.

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