CHINA’S fourth space launch center, the Wenchang satellite launch center in the southern province of Hainan, will send the country’s space station and cargo craft into space, officials said yesterday.


Tao Zhongshan, chief engineer of the Xichang launch center, told the Xinhua news agency that the new center will be used mainly for orbiters, large space stations and cargo spacecraft.


Wenchang has an advantage for the transportation of modules as it is located near a port. And the site’s low latitude will also help the carrying capacity of rockets by about 10 percent, compared to Xichang, said officials.


The Chang’e-5 moonlander, which will return to Earth, will be launched from Wenchang, probably in 2017.


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


Yang Liwei, China’s first astronaut and deputy chief of China’s Manned Space Agency, recently said that the Tiangong-2 space lab will be launched around 2016.


A core module for the space station will be launched around 2018.


SOURCE: Shanghai Daily


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