WENCHANG, May 14, 2016 (Xinhua) -- The "Yuanwang 21" transport ship carrying the Long March-7 carrier rocket arrives at Qinglan Harbor in Wenchang, south China's Hainan Province, May 14, 2016. The rocket will soon be taken to the Wenchang satellite launch center by road and test for its maiden launch late June. (Xinhua/Guocheng)
WENCHANG, Hainan, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Preparations for the launch of China's new generation Long March-7 carrier rocket, which has just entered its five-day launch window, have gone well, according to the launch center.
"Various preparations have gone according to plan," said Wang Guangyi, a commander for the launch mission, "I am fully confident in its maiden-flight mission."
More than 1,000 cubic meters of environmentally-friendly liquid oxygen and 600 cubic meters of kerosene have been prepared, and staff are waiting for the order to fuel up the 53 meter, 597 tonne rocket, according to Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, on the tropical island province of Hainan.
The center has installed protective equipment around the launch ground to guard against thunderstorms.
Wenchang records more than 100 days of thunderstorms annually. To deal with this threat, four 105-meter steel lightning conductors surround each launch pad, effective against 98.6 percent of thunderstorm, much higher than the 90 percent at the country's three other domestic launch centers, according to Liu Xiaohua, a senior engineer at the center.
A special anti-corrosion cover is used on metal surfaces to protect against Wenchang's moist, salty environment.
The Long March-7 carrier rocket, scheduled to take its maiden flight sometime from June 25 to 29, will transport cargo vehicles for China's planned space station and is expected to become the main carrier for future space launches.