Photo taken on June 3, 2013 shows the assembly of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and the Long March-2F carrier rocket at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. The assembly was transported to the launch site on Monday morning, which marks the manned Shenzhou-10 mission entering the final phase of its preparation. The spacecraft, which will be launched in mid-June from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, will carry three astronauts and dock with Tiangong-1, target orbiter and space module. Source:China.org.cn
Bloomberg: This Remote Military Base Is Where China Blasts Humans Into Space
Jiayuguan was once the tangible edge of Chinese civilization –- where the Great Wall ends and the desolation of the Gobi Desert begins.
Now, four hours beyond those limits in a locked-down location along the Ruoshui River, China has built a gateway to the new final frontier.
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is the nation’s preeminent “space city”—one of only three places where humans are blasted into the cosmos. Six manned flights have departed from here, including last month’s Shenzhou 11 mission to China’s own orbiting lab. Manned trips to the moon and Mars in the next decades also are being discussed.
The center also is the launching place for China’s most-important machines. The world’s first quantum-communications satellite, designed to provide hack-proof transmissions for the military, left here in August. The government and military, which ultimately controls the space program, don’t announce every launch, but the nonprofit Space Foundation estimates that at least 82 attempts have been made from the site since 1970.
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Update: China's Secretive Space Program Threatens NASA's Dominance (Bloomberg)
WNU Editor: The Chinese have gone a long way in the past two decades .... and they are clearly on the trajectory to be the dominant power in space in the next two decades.