Launch of car­rier rocket to boost tourism

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By MAZHIPING and LIU XIAOLI in Haikou Con­tact the writer at mazhiping@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Wen­chang in Hainan prov­ince will see an in­crease in vis­i­tors as the launch of the Long March 5 car­rier rocket, sched­uled for early Novem­ber, draws near.

The Wen­chang Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter is the fourth of its kind in the coun­try.

To en­sure that vis­i­tors en­joy their ex­pe­ri­ence of wit­ness­ing the launch of the car­rier rocket, the sec­ond of its kind at the launch cen­ter, local au­thor­i­ties have pre­pared seven ob­ser­va­tion ar­eas which can ac­com­mo­date more than 25,000 spec­ta­tors, ac­cord­ing to a local gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial.

“We­have also de­signed two routes for tourist groups and six routes for peo­ple who will drive by them­selves around Wen­chang, where tourism has peaked since the maiden launch of the Long March 7 car­rier rocket in June,” the of­fi­cial said.

She said the lanes link the aero­space sci­ence ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter, the aero­space mu­seum and the aero­space town with other tourist re­sorts and scenic vil­lages.

Wen­chang, about 60 kilo­me­ters from Haikou, the provin­cial cap­i­tal, has im­proved its trans­porta­tion net­work and built more public toi­lets and park­ing lots to ad­dress in­creased vis­i­tor num­bers.

Xue Ying­gang, who owns a 52-room ho­tel in Wen­chang’s Lon­glou town­ship, said all the rooms in his ho­tel have been booked and he is busy clean­ing the rooms and pre­par­ing food for the ar­rival of vis­i­tors.

“The num­ber of vis­i­tors to Wen­chang has in­creased fol­low­ing the maiden launch at the cen­ter in June. We have beau­ti­ful views and I be­lieve in­creas­ing num­bers of peo­ple will visit as the aero­space city de­vel­ops fur­ther,’’ said Xue, adding that he is grate­ful for the pos­i­tive ef­fect the neigh­bor­ing launch cen­ter has had on his busi­ness.

Com­pleted in 2014, the Wen­chang Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter, lo­cated about 19 de­grees north of the equa­tor, is suit­able for launch­ing geosyn­chronous satel­lites, heavy­weight satel­lites, large space sta­tion com­po­nents, and lu­nar and in­ter­plan­e­tary mis­sions.

The Chang’e-5 moon­lan­der, which will col­lect sam­ples be­fore re­turn­ing to Earth, is ex­pected to be launched from the cen­ter next year, while a space theme park and a space re­search cen­ter have also been ap­proved for con­struc­tion, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua News Agency.

The coun­try’s other three launch cen­ters are in Ji­uquan, Gansu prov­ince; Xichang, Sichuan prov­ince; and Taiyuan, cap­i­tal of Shanxi prov­ince.

SU DONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

A Long March 5 car­rier rocket waits to be sent into space at the Wen­chang Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in Hainan prov­ince on Oct 28.

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