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Space


Base 27 Xichang Satellite Launch Center
28 12 N 102 02 E

The second PRC space facility is the Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) which supports all geostationary [GEO] missions from its location in southern China. Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) is situated in Xichang, Sichuan Province, south-western China. The launch pad is at 102.0 degrees East and 28.2 degrees North. The head office of the launch center is located in Xichang City, about 65 kilometers away from the launch site. Xichang Airport is 50km from the launch site and a dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site.

XSLC's state of the art facilities provide support to every phase of a satellite launch mission. The Technical Center is fully equipped for testing and integration of the payload and launch vehicle. The Mission Command and Control Center, located 7 kilometers southwest of the launch pad, is the heart of flight and safety control during overall system rehearsal and launch.

Down range TT&C stations of XSLC are located in Xichang City and Yibin City of Sichuan Province, and Guiyang City of Guizhou Province. Each of them houses tracking and measurement equipment for the powered phase of a launch vehicle flight. Other facilities include the Launch Complex, the Launch control Center, propellant fueling systems, communications systems for launch command and to provide telephone and data communications to users, and meteorology support equipment for meteorological monitoring and forecasting.

This launch center is suitable for the launch of various kinds of satellites, such as broadcasting, communications and meteorological satellites, into geostationary orbits using Long March launch vehicles. To date, most of the commercial satellite launches of Long March launch vehicles have been from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

The Xichang Space Launch Center, from which US-manufactured satellites are launched, is located within a PLA military installation. Yet the US satellite manufacturer is required to maintain control over certain portions of the facilities and to make them secure during the time a US satellite and its associated documents and equipment are located there.

The nominal launching azimuth is 97 degrees, with downrange safety constraints limiting launch azimuths to 94 to 104 degrees. The Xichang Center is under the control of China Satellite Launch and Control General (CLTC) in Beijing. The primary offices of the Center are in Xichang City, about 65 kilometres south of the actual launch site. The Command and Control Centre, located 7 kilometers southwest of the launch site, is the heart of control during system rehearsal and launch operations. Other facilities include communication systems to provide telephone and data communications, as well as meteorology support equipment. Two separate launch pads support flight operations -- CZ-3 is launched from Launch Complex #1, while CZ-2E, CZ-3A, CZ-3C, and CZ-3E are launched from Launch Complex #2. During 1993-1994 Xichang underwent extensive modernization and expansion, in part due to the requirements of the CZ-3A/B/C family and in part to meet commercial customer needs (References 195-197).




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