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China’s new launch center plans observation of maiden mission

Updated: Jun 19,2016 2:26 PM     Xinhua

WENCHANG — China’s fourth space launch center at Wenchang in Hainan Province, plans eight launch viewing areas for space fans to observe its maiden launch mission.

Components of China’s new generation of carrier rocket Long March-7 arrived in Wenchang in May for the planned launch before the end of June.

The Long March-7, a medium-sized rocket using liquid propellant, can carry up to 13.5 tonnes to low Earth orbit. It will transport cargo for China’s planned space station and is expected to become the main carrier for space launches.

The Wenchang tourism department said that the city can only provide accommodation for 80,000 tourists and suggested tourists avoid the maiden launch, as there will be more space launches afterwards. By June 19, all hotels were booked out.

The construction of the Wenchang satellite launch center, which has two launch pads, started in 2009 and was completed in November 2014.

The sea-side resort city boasts both mountain and seaside scenery for spectacular space launch views.

Xue Xiangwen, head of the city’s tourist board, said the eight observation areas covering 45 hectares in total can receive a maximum of 25,300 people at a time.

He advised observers to mind safety first. “In cases of abnormal sea conditions or slippery roads, the viewing stations will be closed,” he said.

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