Work has been underway on China's Long March 5 and 6 rockets at a Tianjin test site. A large industrial base for rocket development is situated in north China’s Tianjin Municipality.  Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

Work has been underway on China’s Long March 5 and 6 rockets at a Tianjin test site. A large industrial base for rocket development is situated in north China’s Tianjin Municipality.
Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

The recent horrific explosions, loss of life and property, and lingering environmental issues at China’s port city of Tianjin may have a ripple effect that could affect China’s space program.

State-run news outlets in China note that the Tianhe-1 — a major supercomputer installation has been shut down — a move that some reports say is tied to China’s space program. The huge explosions broke windows at the National Supercomputing center, collapsing ceilings at parts of the center.

Furthermore, there are other space-related facilities in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area – supporting infrastructure for the development of China’s first space station, specifically the rockets that are to supply elements required for the large orbiting complex.

According to a report in India’s The Hindu, “Tianjin Blasts May Derail China’s Space Programme,” the rockets are slated for shipment from Tianjin harbor and, according to existing plans, head for China’s new spaceport in Wenchang.

As noted in a March Inside Outer Space story, work on all sections of the Long March 5 rocket tower was completed at a Tianjin test site, with the booster entering the full Arrow modal testing phase. Production of the Long March 5 and Long March 6 has been underway in a large industrial base in north China’s Tianjin Municipality.

Go to:

China’s Long March 5: Booster Progress Reported

http://www.leonarddavid.com/chinas-long-march-5-booster-progress-reported/

NOTE: Check out Marcia Smith’s SpacePolicyOnline.com review of the Chinese disaster. Go to:

Will Tianjin Explosion Impact China’s Space Program?

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/will-tianjin-explosion-impact-chinas-space-program?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Spacepolicyonline+%28SpacePolicyOnline+News%29

 

2 Responses to “Aftermath of China Port City Explosions: Implications for China’s Space Program? (Updated)”

  • Egad says:

    The explosion was at 39.0395 N, 117.7365 E, some 20 km away from the rocket plant at 39.101 N, 117.506 E.

  • Egad says:

    I just checked, and the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, where the Tianhe-1 is located, is only about 1 – 1.3 km from the site of the explosion. So it isn’t surprising that it got shaken up a bit.

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