Xichang ready for Chang'e 2 launch

16:34, September 29, 2010      

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China will soon launch its second lunar probe satellite, the Chang'e Two. Its main mission is to continue its scientific research, and make preparations for the final goal of landing on the moon. Our reporter Han Bin went to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. He finds that the scientists and staffers in southwest China are ready for the big day.

In a valley some 60 kilometers from downtown, is the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

It's a modern construction providing all the necessary back up for the rocket and the satellite. It includes the launch test, command, track and control, telecommunications, meteorology, and logistics services.

Vice Chief Engineer Li Bingli says that Xichang can launch low-temperature propellant rockets, like the Long March 3-C, that can fly deeper into space.

Li said, "The Number 3 Launch Tower is responsible mainly for Long March 3-A, like Chang'e One. The Number 2 Launch Tower is mainly responsible for Long March 3-B and 3-C, which have heavier weight capacities."

The tracking and control station at the center have wireless facilities, to record and track the data sent out by the satellite. These signals help locate the satellite's condition, altitude and distance. The signals are then sent to the headquarters in Beijing.

Ma Lifu, Tracking & Control Director of Xichang Satellite Lauch Center, said, "Chang'e Two's tracking and control is separated into different stages. We are responsible for the first stage, that is from 40 seconds of the launch, through 334 seconds, when the rocket goes out of the atmosphere."

The center has been upgrading its facilities to provide better service.

Gao Jun, Chief Telecom Engineer said, "The center has established an advanced IP network. It is closely related to the safe launch and control of Chang'e Two."

The Long March 3-C rocket is now fixed inside the Number 2 Launch Tower, waiting for the best opportunity for take off.

Li Shangfu, Chief Director of Xichang Satellite Lauch Center, said, "A satellite launch during China's National Day holiday could put some pressure on us. We have to pay more attention to ensure its safety."

CCTV reporter Han Bin said, "The Xichang Satellite Launch Center is primarily used to launch powerful rockets and different kinds of satellite. Ever since 1984, it has helped put more than 40 domestic and foreign satellites into space. That's nearly half of the satellites launched in the country. The Chang'e Two orbiter can once again put Xichang into the global spotlight. "



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