Commercial space industry under development in Wenchang, Hainan

By Li Xiang / HICN / Updated: 16:20,13-July-2022

On July 6, construction of a commercial spacecraft launch site kicked off in Wenchang International Aerospace City in China’s southern province of Hainan. According to local authorities, the new facility is expected to begin operation in 2024, and will be China's first space launch site dedicated to commercial missions.

One of the eleven key industrial parks in the Hainan Free Trade Port, Wenchang International Aerospace City already hosts the Wenchang Space Launch Site, a national satellite launch site which was completed in October, 2014. HAINAN DAILY

A groundbreaking ceremony was held before construction began, and was attended by many industry experts and company representatives, who shared their views on the project.

Wenchang is the perfect place for commercial launches, according to Zhu Jishuai, head of Hainan Changguang Satellite Technology —the first commercial remote sensing satellite company in China. “The city has a very low latitude, allowing for an increase in the payload for rocket launches, which is a real boon for us,” said Zhu. He then added, “Seeing that Wenchang is now leveraging both its geographical advantages and the preferential policies of the free trade port in the development of a commercial launch site makes us feel more optimistic about the future of our company.” In February, the Long March-8 Y2 carrier rocket carried a record 22 satellites to space in one launch from the Wenchang Space Launch Site, including 10 developed by Hainan Changguang Satellite Technology.

Niu Min, founder of the FutureSpace Research Institute, believes that the new launch site in Wenchang will serve as a complement to other space launch sites in China. He told Hainan Daily, “We have made plans to increase investment in Hainan’s commercial aerospace industry, especially in the space culture & tourism sector.”

Additionally, Hainan will make use of the new commercial launch site to establish a complete commercial space industry chain involving carrier rockets, satellites, and data processing. Meanwhile, the new facility is another step on the path for Wenchang as it becomes a world-class spaceport, said local authorities during the groundbreaking ceremony.



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