China Plans to Build Special Site for Weekly Launch of Long March 8 Rockets
BEIJING (Sputnik) - China plans to build a special pad at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in Hainan to launch the next-generation Long March 8 rockets on a weekly basis, the head of the Long March 8 project at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), Xiao Yun, said on 4 October.
"Our current preliminary plan is that we will be able to carry out one launch every seven days to meet public needs," Xiao told China Central Television.
According to the project manger, if two such sites are built in the future, then at least 50 launches of this type of rockets alone can be carried out per year, which exceeds the current total annual number of China's missile launches.
"We are working hard in this direction to build commercial launch sites, from which quick launches can be carried out, as soon as possible," he stressed.
The Long March 8 rocket runs on ecological rocket fuel. The 50-meter (165 feet) rocket has a launch mass of 356 tonnes and is capable of delivering up to 4.5 tonnes of cargo to the sun-synchronous orbit. The first Long March 8 test launch was successfully carried out last December, delivering five satellites to orbit.
In 2018, Li Tongyu, head of rocket development at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, which manufactures Long March 8, said China needed that type of spacecraft to meet the demands of commercial launch service.