China is building a floating spaceport to launch rockets

A new mobile launch pad is being developed by the China Aerospace Science Corporation and

technologies (CASC), the largest contractor inareas of the aerospace and defense industry. Once commissioned, it will be used to launch light vehicles and to build and maintain rockets and satellites. As China's fifth launch site, it will give the country's space program a new degree of flexibility.

Adding an offshore platform will also helpreduce the risk to communities. Currently, all of China's other launchers are located inland at Jiuquan (northwest China), Taiyuan (north), Xichang (southwest) and the coastal area at Wenchang (south) on Hainan Island. Launching from these locations often results in depleted stages falling to Earth, requiring extensive safety and clean-up operations.

The addition of a floating spaceport is also consistentwith the expansion of launch services that China has provided in recent years. The country has seen an exponential growth in launches using the Long March rocket family for 20 years. In 2001, CNSA performed only one launch with the Long March 2F. By 2018, that number had increased to 37 using a combination of the Long March 2, 3, 4 and 11 models.

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