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China begins construction of new space centre

A blueprint of the Wenchang Space Launch Centre. Image Credit: Xinhua

WENCHANG (BNS): With an aim to augment its international commercial space launches, China on Monday started the construction of its new space centre here in the island province of Hainan, the country’s official news agency Xinuha reported.

The latest space centre, which will be the fourth and of lowest latitude in China, is scheduled to be completed by 2013, the report said.

The Hainan Space Satellite Launch Centre, situated 19 degrees north of the equator, would allow China to take part in more international commercial space launches, said Wang Weichang, director of the Hainan Space Centre Project Headquarters.

The new launch site would be primarily used for launching synchronous satellites, heavy satellites, large space stations, and deep space probe satellites, the official said.

China has already put a man in space in 2003, becoming only the third nation to do so after Russia and US.

In September last year, Chinese astronauts carried out a 68 hour space walk on-board Shenzhou VII spacecraft, which is likely to form the basis for a planned space station.

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