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China on Monday began construction of its new space launch centre in Wenchang City, on the northeast coast of the tropical island province of Hainan, which is scheduled to be completed by 2013.
The Hainan Space Launch Centre, the fourth and the lowest latitude one in China, only 19 degrees north of the equator, will be mainly used for launching synchronous satellites, heavy satellites, large space stations, and deep space probe satellites.

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Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre
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 In October 1958, upon the orders of Chairman Mao Zedong, 100,000 PLA soldiers built China's first space centre out on the edge of the Badain Jaran desert of this north-western province.
Fifty years later, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC) is scheduled to send up the Shenzhou VII spaceship between Thursday and next Tuesday with astronauts expecting to perform a spacewalk.

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Xichang Satellite Launch Centre
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A launch tower at a major satellite launch centre in southwest China has been upgraded to increase the country's satellite launch competitiveness.
According to a launch centre spokesman, use of the No. 3 tower at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province would alternate with the No.2 tower and it was possible that two rockets could be erected simultaneously.
The upgrade will improve China's launching competitiveness in the international arena.
In the next five years, the Xichang centre would develop the capability to launch more than 10 satellites a year.
Set up in 1983, the No. 3 tower is mainly used to launch geosynchronous satellites on Long March-3 carrier rockets and polar orbit satellites on Long March-2C rockets.
It has successfully launched 16 satellites, including China's first experimental communications satellite Dongfanghong-2.
New technologies such as remote control, a real-time three-dimensional display system and a low-temperature fuel concentration warning system were introduced to the upgraded launch tower, making it more advanced, highly-automated and safer, the spokesman said.
The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre was established in 1970. It will launch China's first lunar-probing satellite in 2007.

Source: Xinhua

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Xichang Launch Site
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Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.

102.00353E_28.27242N zoom2
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Latitude: 28.27242° N. Longitude: 102.00353° E

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A=Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre
B=Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre
C=Xichang Satellite Launch Centre
D=Hainan Satellite Launch Centre

There are three major space launch bases in China: Jiuquan, Taiyuan and Xichang. All three are located in sparsely populated areas with flat terrain and broad field of vision.

Founded in 1958 in Gansu Province, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center was the country's earliest base and where most launches and tests have been conducted.


Expand
40°15'N 97°21'E


It is huge -- about 2,800 square kilometers -- and the climate means that around 300 days each year are suitable for launches. The center is mainly used to send satellites into lower and medium orbits with large orbital inclination angles. It is also capable of testing medium- and long-range missiles. Many groundbreaking launches have been made at Jiuquan.


Vehicle assembly buildings
Rocket launch pad

Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (Base 20) is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility (spaceport) in the Gobi desert in Gansu Province located (41.10deg N, 100.30deg E) about 1,600 km from Beijing.



It was founded in 1958, making it China's first spaceport of three, compared with the later Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre and Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.
Jiuquan is usually used to launch vehicles into lower and medium orbits, as well as medium- to long-range missiles.



The launch centre has been the focus of many of China's successful ventures into space, including their first satellite Dong Fang Hong 1 in 1970, and their first manned space mission Shenzhou 5 on October 15, 2003.



NORTH LAUNCH SITE
Becoming operational in the early 1960s, the north launch site (code-name LA2) is where most of JSLC's space launches occurred before the 1990s. The launch site includes the north launch centre and the north technical centre. This launch site is mainly used for low earth orbit (LEO) missions using CZ-2C and CZ-2D launch vehicles.



Facilities in the north technical centre include:
Launch Vehicle & Spacecraft Processing Building (BLS) - BLS is used for the transit of launch vehicles and spacecraft, as well as the fuelling of the spacecraft. The building comprises a processing hall (BL & BS2), a spacecraft fuelling hall (BS3), unit testing workshops, and power-supply, gas-supply, air-conditioning and firing alarm and protection systems. The BLS is 140m long with total area of 4,587 square metres.

Solid Rocket Motor Processing Building (BM) - BM is used for solid rocket motor (SRM) assembly, testing and short-term storage. The BM includes SRM processing hall, SRM storage units, testing units, and air-conditioning, power-supply, fire protection and alarm, and communications systems.
Facilities in the north launch centre include:
Mobile Service Tower - The 11-floor, 55.23m high mobile service tower provides an operating platform for launch vehicle erection, and launch vehicle and spacecraft integration. It comprises tower body, gantry crane, elevator, operating platform, and spacecraft workshop.
The tower moves between two umbilical towers on rail tracks.
Umbilical Tower - The 45m high umbilical tower is used for the fuelling of the launch vehicle, and the final checkout of launch vehicles and spacecraft before launch. It is fitted with an elevator with a maximum load capability of 1,000 kg, 5 floors of rotating platform, and 2 floors of roll-over platforms.
Launch Control Bunker - The launch control bunker is located underground, comprising launch control unit, spacecraft testing control unit, launch vehicle testing control unit, and power supply, air conditioning, and communications. All tests and launch activities are remotely controlled by this centre.



SOUTH LAUNCH SITE
Construction work of the south launch site (code-name: LA4) began on 3 July 1994 to support China's manned spaceflight programme (Project 921). In 1998 the new south launch site became operational. The site consists of the south launch centre and the south technical centre. The south launch site has a single mobile launch pad specially designed to launch CZ-2F launch vehicle carrying Shenzhou spaceship.



Facilities in the south technical centre include:
Launch Vehicle Horizontal Transit Building (BL1) - BL1 is used for the transit of the launch vehicle and its ground equipment. It mainly includes a 78m X 240m LV horizontal processing hall, a 42m X 30m transit workshop, and unit testing workshops.
Launch Vehicle Vertical Processing Building (BLS) - BLS is used for launch vehicle integration, launch vehicle and spacecraft integration, launch vehicle vertical checkouts, and launch vehicle and spacecraft combined checkouts. It includes two high-bays and two 26.8m X 28m X 81.6m vertical-processing halls, each equipped with 13-floor moveable platform and a 50-tonne crane. The two-processing-hall design implies that the facility is potentially capable of prepare for two launches in a relatively short period (3-4 days).
Spacecraft Non-Hazardous Operation Building (BS2) - BS2 is used for conventional testing and integration processes of spacecraft.
Spacecraft Hazardous Operation Building (BS3) - BS3 is used for hazardous assembly operations of the spacecraft including mono-propellant or bi-propellant fuelling, the integration of the spacecraft and the fairing, spinning balance and weighing.
Solid Rocket Motor Checkout and Processing Building (BM) - BM is used for the storage, assembly, pyrotechnics checkout, and X-ray checkout of the solid-rocket motors (SRMs).
Launch Control Centre (LCC) - LCC is located beside BLS, and is connected with Launch Tower and BS2 via cables and radio communications. LCC is mainly used for remote command and control of launch vehicle and spacecraft tests, examinations, checkouts, and launches. It also coordinates communications between the south technical centre and south launch centre. Other functions include medical assistance and weather forecast.
Pyrotechnics Storage & Testing Units (BP1 & BP2) - BP1 and BP2 are used for the storage and testing of launch vehicle and spacecraft pyrotechnics. BP1 and BP2 are equipped with power-supply, anti-lightning and grounding and fire-extinguish systems.
The south launch centre 1.5 km away from the south technical centre. Facilities in the south launch centre include:
Umbilical Tower - The umbilical tower is a 75m high, 11-floor fixed steel structure which supports electrical connections, gas pipelines, liquid pipelines, as well as their connectors for both launch vehicle and spacecraft.
The umbilical tower has a rotating-platform system, with maximum load capability of 15t for each single platform. There is also a rotary crane on the top of the umbilical tower. The umbilical tower is equipped with a conventional elevator and an explosion-proof elevator with operating speeds of 1.75m/s and 1.0m/s respectively. The max loading capability of these elevators is 1,000kg.

Mobile Launch Pad
- The mobile launch pad is used for launch vehicle vertical integration and checkouts in BLS, transporting the launch vehicle/spacecraft from BLS to the launch area vertically, and locking itself beside the umbilical tower. The mobile launch pad can also vertically adjust the position of the launch vehicle to make the preliminary aiming. The ignition flame can be exhausted through the mobile launch pad.
The mobile launch pad weighs 750 tonnes with dimensions of 24.4 m x 21.7 m x 8.4 m. It moves on a 20m wide rail track and has a top speed of 28m/min. It takes the mobile launch pad about 40 minutes to move the launch vehicle/spacecraft from BLS to umbilical tower (1.5km).



Underground Equipment Units- Located under the umbilical tower, the 800 square metres underground equipment units includes power-supply unit, equipment unit, power distribution unit, optic cable terminal unit.
The vertical processing building (BLS), military code-name 920-520, is the world's tallest single-floor concrete building. It also has the world's tallest (86.1m above the ground) and heaviest (13,000 tonnes) concrete roof.
All important buildings, including the BLS, spacecraft operation buildings, umbilical tower, and underground equipment units are air-conditioned to cleanness class 100,000.




The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center was founded in March 1966 and came into full operation in 1968.



Situated in Kelan County, the northwest part of Shanxi Province, 284 km away from Taiyuan City, the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre (TSLC) is commissioned for sun-synchronous missions and thus supports all CZ-4 launches. Confusingly, this facility is also designated by U.S. intelligence as the Wuzhai Missile and Space Test Centre, despite the fact that the town of Wuzhai is located some considerable distance from Taiyuan space launch facility.


Official name - China Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre (TSLC)
PLA military code-name: Base 25
Sometimes referred to as Wu Zhai

LOCATION

Latitude: 38°50'55.88"N
Longitude: 111°36'30.04"E
Altitude: 1,500m


Surrounded by mountains, Taiyuan stands at an elevation of 1,500 meters. Its dry weather makes it ideal for launching solar-synchronous satellites. It has launched a variety of satellites, including weather, resource and communication





Located in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China's Sichuan Province, the Xichang Satellite Launch Center is designed mainly to launch powerful thrust rockets and geostationary satellites. Known for its agreeable weather and picturesque scenes, most pictures shown on Chinese television of rockets taking off are shot here.


Established in 1970, its headquarters are located 60 kilometers northwest of Xichang City, in Sichuan Province. The ideal time for launching satellites from Xichang is from October to May.


The center was completed in 1983 and started operating the following year. Since that time it has launched China's first experimental communications satellite, first operational communications satellite, and first combined communications and broadcast satellite.




Xichang has two launch pads: one for the launch of geostationary communications satellites and meteorological satellites by Long March CZ-3 rockets and the other for the lift-off of Long March CZ-2 strap-on launch vehicle and the Long March CZ-3 series rockets.


According to the reports, Wuzhai/TSLC is a major launch site for ICBMs and overland Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) tests. At least seven flight tests of the DF-5 ICBM were conducted from the Wuzhai between January 1979 and December 1981. The DF-31 ICBM was expected to be deployed around 2000~2001. The missile was observed on a launch pad at Wuzhai in mid-October 1997, and a flight test was conducted soon thereafter.

Administratively TSLC is subordinated to China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General (CLTC), which itself is led by the PLA General Armament Department (GAD). The headquarters of the TSLC is located in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province. TSLC has two railway lines that connect with mainline railways. Highways lead to all TSLC sites.

Taiyuan Airport is 300 km away from the launch site and can accept jumbo aircraft. TSLC is primarily used to launch meteorological satellites, earth resource satellites and scientific satellites on CZ-2C/SD and CZ-4 family launch vehicles. From 1997 to 1999, the TSLC is also used to launch Motorola's Iridium communications satellites.

The TSLC consists of the Technical Centre, the Mission Centre for Command and Control (MCCC). Telemetry, Tracking, and Communications System, and necessary technical and logistic support systems.
TSLC is located in a temperate zone, with an elevation of 1,400 m to 1,900 m above sea level.

-- Edited by Blobrana at 05:17, 2005-09-18

-- Edited by Blobrana at 12:49, 2008-12-16

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