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Home of space dreams

By Zou Hong | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-24 10:28

Shenzhou X manned spacecraft blasted off on June 12 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, which is also home to scientists, soldiers and their families. Zou Hong unveils daily life at the center in Gansu province.

The "Cape Canaveral of China" - Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, also known as Dongfeng Space Center - is located at the depth of Badain Jaran Desert, 210 kilometers from the northeast of Jiuquan city, Gansu province.

Home of space dreams

The setting sun creates a mysterious hue over the skies at the satellite launch center, which is the main draw of the city of Jiuquan in Gansu province. Photo by Zou hong / China Daily

Built in 1958, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is the earliest and largest satellite launch center in China. Since its establishment, it has achieved many firsts for the development of the space industry of China, including the launch of China's very first satellite in 1970.

It is also the breeding ground and launching pad of many vital space projects, including Shenzhou X manned spacecraft that blasted off on June 12, bringing the nation one step closer to setting up its own space station in 2020.

While the city is the cradle for space dreams, people in the city live a simple life, with no bars and night clubs. Most of the residents are scientists, members of the military and their family members, who dedicate their time to realizing the nation's space mission.

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