China capable of launching 10-ton space station module
( 2003-10-24 11:18) (Xinhua)
The Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, which sent China's first manned
spacecraft into the orbit early this month, is capable of launching modules of
space stations in the future, says a senior official at the center.
Some facilities at the center as well as the propellant of the rocket might
need to be upgraded however, said Yu Jianping, deputydesigner-in-chief of the
launch center system and director of the Beijing Special Engineering Design
Spaceflight Memorial Tower of the Jiuquan
Launch Center. [newsphoto.com.cn]
The center was world-class and could be used to launch a 10-ton module of
space station after the upgrading.
Construction of the launch center began in 1993 and was completed in 1998. It
assembles, tests and transports rockets and space vehicles in an upright way and
through remote and automatic control.
It was of the most advanced model in the world, ensuring the efficiency and
quality of rocket and spacecraft assembly and testing, he said.
The center had two upright assembly platforms and one launch pad, which
allowed it to launch a space station capable of dockingby different modules in
the space. The center could conduct two launches a week.
All the equipment and installations at the center were designed to
accommodate the launch of space stations in the future. The assembly workshop
had an access, eight meters tall and eight meters wide, to allow for the future
movement of a space station.