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June 20-26, 2016 / Vol 35, No 25 / Hawai`i Island, USA

17 Jun 2016, 19:50 UTC
June 20-26, 2016 / Vol 35, No 25 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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China to Inaugurate Hainan WSLC Spaceport / Moonport with CZ-7 Maiden Launch 26 June

The maiden flight of the China Long March 7 rocket, designed to become the national space program’s workhorse rocket in the years ahead, is set to occur June 26 as the first launch from the newly-commissioned Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at Hainan, China’s “Kennedy Space Center” in Southeast Asia, on “China’s Hawaii”. The medium-lift, liquid-fueled rocket developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is a variant of the new generation rocket family that includes the heavy-lift Long March 5 and features a transition to LOX/kerosene propellant from the expensive and dangerous N2O4/UDMH of earlier models. It has capacity of 13,500 kg to LEO or 5,500 to SSO. Zhou Jianping, chief designer of the China human spaceflight program told parliamentary sessions in Beijing that this test flight will include a scaled-down version of the new crewed re-entry capsule meant as the successor to Shenzhou for human spaceflight. Hainan, literally “South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]” is the smallest and southernmost province of China, and the name also refers to Hainan Island, which is the main island of the province and the location of the Wenchang spaceport. ...

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