Some of China’s upcoming space missions could take off from a new location. In an article published on Thursday (10), UniverseToday said that the Chinese are building a floating spaceport off the coast of the city of Haiyang, located in the east of the country.
According to the publication, the mobile base will give the country’s space program a new degree of flexibility, and the structure can be used for the construction and storage of rockets, satellites and other vehicles.
Developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the sector’s main contractor in the country, the new maritime platform will be the fifth space destined for launching space missions in China. Currently, the facilities of Jiuquan, Xichang, Taiyuan and Weichang are used.
The project to build this new base also foresees investments to attract industries specialized in aerospace and high-tech equipment to the region, taking advantage of the growing number of missions carried out by the country.
Taking place far from populated regions, rocket launches on offshore platforms offer several advantages, providing greater safety, especially in the case of parts that fall after take-off.
In takeoffs from land-based bases, rocket stages can fall close to inhabited areas, posing risks to the population. Last Monday (07), for example, one of the drivers of the Long March 4B rocket, launched from Taiyuan, fell near a school in the village of Lilong, in Xianxim province. The component exploded, generating intense orange smoke caused by the fuel (nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine) highly toxic and dangerous to health.
Who is also interested in launches on the high seas is SpaceX. The American company has even announced job vacancies for engineers specialized in this type of enterprise. The goal is to use the platforms for the Super Heavy rockets, the same ones that will take the Starship on future missions to the Moon and Mars.