BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- There are three major space launch bases in
China, namely, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, the Taiyuan Satellite Launch
Center and the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
In line with the common international practice, all the three launch
centers are located in scarcely-populated areas where the terrain is even and
the field of vision is broad. Factoring in arealso state security, transport
conditions and the influence of theaxial rotation of the Earth.
Founded in 1958 in Gansu province, Northwest China, the JiuquanSatellite
Launch Center is China's earliest space launch base, where most of the country's
space launches and tests have been conducted. At a mean elevation of 1,000
meters, the Jiuquan launchcenter is mainly used to send experimental and
applications satellites that are on the lower and medium orbits with large
orbital inclination angles. Meanwhile, it is also capable of testing medium- and
Over the past four decades and more, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
has made nine successful history-making launches, including the testing of
China's first short-range missile, the launch of China's first man-made
satellite, the testing of a long-range launch vehicle to the Pacific Ocean, as
well as a 1981 launch that sent three satellites into the orbit atop a single
The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, situated in Kelan County of north
China's Shanxi province, was founded in March 1966 and put into normal operation
in 1968. At the end of that year, the center successfully conducted the
full-distance testing of the first-generation medium-range rocket.
Hemmed in by mountains in all directions, the Taiyuan launch center stands
at an elevation of 1,500 meters. With dry weather conditions in the locality,
the center is believed to be the idealist site for launching solar-synchronous
satellites. In 1988 and 1990, the center successfully blasted meteorological
satellites made by China alone into space with the Long March CZ-4rockets.
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. At an average
elevation of 1,500 meters,the center is known for its agreeable weather and
picturesque scenes. The sights of the taking off of rockets often seen in
Chinese television programs were shot there.
The Xichang center 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. On July 16, 1990, China's first
Long March CZ-2 strap-on launch vehicle successfully blasted off from Xichang
and sent a Pakistani scientific experimental satellite and a Chinese satellite
into their orbits. Enditem