Source: Xinhua News Agency

10-21-2007 13:58

Special Report:   Chang'e I -Journey to the Moon

HAIKOU, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- China is to built a new satellite launching center, the fourth of its kind in the country, in its southernmost island province of Hainan, said Luo Baoming, acting governor of Hainan, on Tuesday.

Luo, who is attending this year's session of Hainan Provincial People's Congress, said the feasibility research on the center started in 2002 and the long-awaited plan will be materialized soon.

Currently, China has three satellite launching centers located, respectively, in Xichang in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Jiuquan in northwest China's Gansu Province and Taiyuan in north China's Shanxi Province.

The site of the new satellite launching center is confirmed to be Wenchang, about 60 km from provincial capital Haikou.

Covering an area of 20 sq km, the Wenchang Satellite Launching Center will cover a space launching port, a space theme scientific park, a rocket assembling plant, a rocket launching base, and the command center.

Hainan was selected as new base of China's satellite launching mainly for its geographical advantages, said Long Lehao, an expert in carrier rocket and member of Chinese Academy of Engineering.

The lower the latitude of the launching site is, the larger is the centrifugal force, and the lower is the cost of the launch. "Hainan is China's closest site to the equator, so much energy could be saved if a satellite base is built in the place," said Long.

Wenchang is centered at 11 degrees east longitude and 19 degrees north latitude in northeastern Hainan. Due to the low latitude, the load efficiency of the rocket will be high, according to the expert.

Long estimates the actual load efficiency will increase by 7.4 percent at Wenchang base, compared with the Xichang base centered at 27 degree north latitude. The new base can add 300 kg more rocket load, saving six million U.S. dollars in load expenses (cost on rocket load is about 20,000 U.S. dollars per kg in the world).

China's new-generation rocket is expected to be put into use in2010 and the Wenchang satellite launching base is likely to serve the launching of the new carrier rockets, Long said.

The new satellite launching base will not cause pollution or harm to surrounding area due to use of environment-friendly technologies, he said.


Editor:Yang Jie