NewLongMarch rocket ready to go

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By XIN­HUA in­Wen­chang, Hainan

China plans to launch the first of its new gen­er­a­tion Long March 7 car­rier rock­ets be­tween Satur­day and Wed­nes­day.

The rocket ar­rived at Wen­chang in South China’s Hainan prov­ince in May for fi­nal as­sem­bly and test­ing, and it was trans­ported up­right to the launch pad in a jour­ney that took three hours, ac­cord­ing to an an­nounce­ment by the China Manned Space En­gi­neer­ing Wed­nes­day.

The LongMarch 7 is a medium-sized rocket that uses liq­uid pro­pel­lant and is de­signed to carry up to 13.5 tonnes to low-Earth or­bit.

It is ex­pected to be­come the main car­rier for the na­tion’s space launches, in­clud­ing trans­port­ing cargo to the space sta­tion that China plans to put into or­bit.

This will be the first launch from Wen­chang, China’s fourth launch site.

Work be­gan on the launch Of­fice on cen­ter in 2009 and was com­pleted in Novem­ber 2014. It has two launch pads.

It also has eight view­ing ar­eas for ob­servers to watch the launches.

And, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal tourism depart­ment, all the ho­tels in Wencheng are fully booked un­til Sun­day.

The city can only pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion for 80,000 peo­ple and it sug­gested peo­ple with­out a reser­va­tion avoid the maiden launch, as there will be more in the fu­ture.

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 re­minded ob­servers that safety will come first, and when there is “ab­nor­mal sea con­di­tions or slip­pery roads, the view­ing sta­tions will be closed”.

The re­sort city boasts both moun­tains and sea, which will pro­vide a spec­tac­u­lar back­drop to the rock­ets blast­ing off.

SU DONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The new gen­er­a­tion Long March 7 car­rier rocket stands on a launch pad in Wen­chang, Hainan prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day. The rocket will be launched be­tween Satur­day and Wed­nes­day.

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