China begins construction of its fifth rocket launch site

A port city in eastern China has launched an ambitious plan to build the country's fifth rocket launch site, under a longer-term goal to ramp up space infrastructure to meet the demands of an expected boom in commercial missions.

Reuters | Beijing | Updated: 08-04-2021 09:26 IST | Created: 08-04-2021 09:26 IST
China begins construction of its fifth rocket launch site

A port city in eastern China has launched an ambitious plan to build the country's fifth rocket launch site, under a longer-term goal to ramp up space infrastructure to meet the demands of an expected boom in commercial missions. An engineering company in eastern Zhejiang province won a tender on April 1 to construct the launch pad in Ningbo city, as well as a section of the command centre and an assembly and testing facility, according to a document posted on the website of the Ningbo Free Trade Zone.

As part of the Zhejiang government's infrastructure plans for 2021-2025, Ningbo will invest 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) in a rocket launch centre in the county of Xiangshan, or "Elephant Hill". The centre will be capable of launching 100 missions a year.

According to media, Xiangshan has a favourable latitude for rocket launches, comparable to Cape Canaveral, home of the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. In the next five to 10 years, China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments.

To meet the demand for launches, China will have to build bigger rockets that can carry more satellites or build more launch sites, or both. China currently has four launch sites - three inland and one on the southern island of Hainan. China launched 39 missions in 2020, including an unmanned probe to Mars, and is expected to see more than 40 launches this year, according to state media.

China may launch more than 1,000 low-Earth orbit satellites in coming years, the state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday, citing a space industry expert. The Long March-5, China's largest rocket, is capable of transporting 60 satellites at a time, the expert said.

The comparatively low threshold for building spacecraft launch sites will lure more provinces to plan similar projects, the Global Times added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities and challenges

The use of blockchain in healthcare is a relatively new innovation with many of its uses still being explored and related technologies being developed, improved, and scaled. ...

Debate surrounding vaccine passports and development misses bigger picture

... ...

Blockchain vs IOTA: Looking for a better alternative

... ...

For stability, Iraq needs to crack down on corruption

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Kerala: New LDF ministry expected to assume power on May 20

The new LDF ministry, headed by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is expected to assume power on May 20.An indication in this regard was given by the chief minister at a press conference here on Wednesday.Responding to a query, Vijaya...

UK PM Boris Johnson announces public inquiry into his government's pandemic handling

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced a full and independent public inquiry into his governments handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, set to begin in the first half of 2022.In a statement to members of Parliament during the w...

French court orders trial in 2009 crash of Rio-Paris flight

A French court on Wednesday ordered Air France and plane maker Airbus to stand trial for manslaughter in the 2009 crash into the Atlantic Ocean of a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, which killed all 228 people aboard.The two companies s...

Waiting for members start negotiations on TRIPS waiver, tech transfer: WTO chief

The WTO is waiting for member countries to sit across the table and negotiate an outcome on the issues of technology transfer and the proposal of India and South Africa for temporary waiver of certain provisions from TRIPS agreement to deal...

Give Feedback