Credit: CCTV-Plus

Along with the booming sound of departing rockets, space tourism is booming in a south China city – at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center.

The Wenchang launch center is China’s one-of-a-kind coastal launch site. This center will support the country’s space station construction activities in the 2020s, as well as hurling large exploration probes to the Moon – such as the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission later this year.

2016 launches

Construction of the site began in Sept 2009 and was completed in Nov 2014. The center has already seen the launch of the Long March-7 last June and the Long March-5 in November 2016.

Wenchang has two vertical assembly and testing plants, two launch towers, a command building and other facilities.

Visitors to the launch complex are shuttled to a launch tower with more areas reportedly opening to the public in the future.

Visitor increase

As reported on CCTV-Plus: “We’re averaging 100 to 200 tourists every day, consisting of locals, who live in Hainan, before November, and tourists who came here in the winter after November,” observed Wang Xiaojia, deputy manager of Wenchang Tourism Investment Holding Co., Ltd.

Credit: CCTV-Plus

The number of tourists in 2016 increased 15 percent year on year since the establishment of Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in 2014, according to the local tourism department.

Tourism town

Construction of a new “tourism town” is underway, reports CCTV-Plus, scheduled to be put into use in the first half of 2017.

In addition to a science and technology exhibit, the town will also use advanced technology — such as visual reality — to enable tourists to experience a realistic rocket launch space exploration missions.

To view a video clip on Wenchang tourism, go to:

One Response to “Tourism Town: China’s Wenchang Satellite Launch Center”

  • Leonard–

    I just finished your very impressive Mars book, one of the best written and illustrated of the many space books I have seen.

    Your website lists me as Michael TA Michaud. Or is that my evil brother?

Leave a Reply