Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

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Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

Coordinates: 40°57′28″N 100°17′30″E / 40.95778°N 100.29167°E / 40.95778; 100.29167

Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) (simplified Chinese: 酒泉卫星发射中心; traditional Chinese: 酒泉衛星發射中心; pinyin: Jiǔquán Wèixīng Fāshè Zhōngxīn) is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility (spaceport) in the Gobi desert, Ejin Banner (额济纳旗), Alxa League (阿拉善盟), Inner Mongolia, located about 1,600 km from Beijing. It is located at 40°57′28″N 100°17′30″E / 40.95778°N 100.29167°E / 40.95778; 100.29167.

History

It was founded in 1958, making it PRC's first of three spaceports. More Chinese launches have occurred at Jiuquan than anywhere else. As with all Chinese launch facilities it is remote and generally closed to foreigners. It is named as such since Jiuquan is the nearest urban centre, although Jiuquan is in the nearby province of Gansu.

The Satellite Launch Center is a part of Dongfeng space city (东风航天城),also known as Base 10(十号基地)or Dongfeng base(东风基地), which also includes PLAAF test flight facilities, a space museum and a martyr's cemetery(东风烈士陵园).

JSLC is usually used to launch vehicles into lower and medium orbits with large orbital inclination angles, as well as testing medium to long-range missiles. Its facilities are state of the art and provide support to every phase of a satellite launch campaign. The site includes the Technical Center, the Launch Complex, the Launch Control Center, the Mission Command and Control Center and various other logistical support systems.

The center covers a massive 2800 km² and may have housing for as many as 20 000 people. The facilities and launch support equipment were likely modelled on Soviet counterparts and the Soviet Union, at least in the early 1960s, may have provided technical support to Jiuquan.

The launch center has been the focus of many of China's 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.

Shenzhou 6, the second human spaceflight of China, launched on 12 October 2005 on a Long March rocket from JSLC.

Shenzhou 7 was launched on September 25, 2008 by a Long March 2F (CZ-2F) rocket which lifted off from JSLC. This is the third human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program. The mission, which included an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) carried out by crewmembers Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming, marked the commencement of the second phase of the Chinese government's Project 921.

Launch Pads
  • Launch Area 2, 3 launch pads:
    • LA-2A: CZ-1, DF-3, DF-5
    • LA-2B: CZ-2A, CZ-2C, CZ-2D, FB-1
  • Launch Area 3, 2 launch pad: DF-1, DF-2, R-2.
  • Launch Area 4 (South Launch Site), 2 launch pads, only active complex:
    • SLS-1: CZ-2F launcher with nearby Vertical Assembly Facility.
    • SLS-2: CZ-2C, CZ-2D and CZ-4C, operational since 2003