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date: 13 April 2021

Xichang Satellite Launch Centre

A Dictionary of Space Exploration
Stephen O'MearaStephen O'Meara, E. Julius DaschE. Julius Dasch

Xichang Satellite Launch Centre 

A Chinese satellite launch and space centre located under military jurisdiction in Sichuan Province. It became operational in 1983 with a Chang Zheng (Long March) rocket launch on 8 April 1984. The site was used throughout the 1990s to provide commercial launch services for foreign customers, but the programme suffered several high-profile failures, including a failed launch that veered off course, killing six people and injuring another 57 in a nearby village; its payload (the US$125 million Intelsat 708) was also destroyed. In 2004, Xichang received a major overhaul in order to support China’s robotic lunar programme.