China to build commercial launch center in eastern coastal province

The launch center is built to meet China's rising demand for commercial launches.

An international commercial space launch center with a planned investment of 20 billion yuan (US$3.06 billion) will be built in Xiangshan County in Ningbo located in China’s eastern coastal province of Zhejiang.

The commercial space launch center will include a 35-square-kilometer launch site and supporting facilities spanning 32sq km. The center is expected to launch up to 100 rockets a year, according to a draft document for key projects in Zhejiang Province during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) released last month.

The construction of the launch site will focus on building a commercial space launch field, an assembly and test center, a satellite-rocket docking center, and a ground control center. A rocket and satellite R&D and manufacturing base and an industrial base for satellite data application will be among the supporting facilities.

The commercial rocket assembly and test center is expected to be completed and undergo the project acceptance test no later than July 31.

The launch center is built to meet China’s rising demand for commercial launches.

Dou Xiaoyu, vice chairman of China Aerospace Construction Group Co, said that the domestic demand for commercial satellite launches is expected to surge in the next five to 10 years.

China has three inland launch sites, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the north and the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwest. 

Xiangshan County is located at a latitude close to Xichang, and the falling area of the rocket debris is almost purely the ocean.

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