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Google Earth Plug-in: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

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Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) (Simplified Chinese: 酒泉卫星发射中心) is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility (spaceport) in the Gobi desert, Ejina Banner, Alashan League, Inner Mongolia, located about 1,600 km from Beijing. It is located at 40°57′28″N, 100°17′30″E. It was founded in 1958, making it PRC's first of three spaceports. More Chinese launches have occurred at Jiuquan than anywhere else. As with all Chinese launch facilities it is remote and generally closed to foreigners. It is named as such since Jiuquan is the nearest urban centre, although Jiuquan is in the nearby province of Gansu.

JSLC is usually used to launch vehicles into lower and medium orbits with large orbital inclination angles, as well as testing medium to long-range missiles. Its facilities are state of the art and provide support to every phase of a satellite launch campaign. The site includes the Technical Center, the Launch Complex, the Launch Control Center, the Mission Command and Control Center and various other logistical support systems.

The center covers a massive 2800 km² and may have housing for as many as 20 000 people. The facilities and launch support equipment were likely modelled on Soviet counterparts and the Soviet Union, at least in the early 1960s, may have provided technical support to Jiuquan.

The launch center has been the focus of many of China's successful ventures into space, including their first satellite Dong Fang Hong 1 in 1970, and their first manned space mission Shenzhou 5 on October 15, 2003.

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