Launch of carrier rocket to boost tourism

Updated: 2016-11-03 07:58

By Ma Zhiping and Liu Xiaoli in Haikou(China Daily)

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Launch of carrier rocket to boost tourism

Long March 5 carrier rocket waits to be sent into space at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province on Oct 28.[Photo by Su Dong/For China Daily]

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.

"We have 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.