Jiuquan is a prefecture-level city in the northwesternmost part of Gansu Province in the People's Republic of China. It is more than 600 km (370 mi) wide from east to west, occupying 191,342 km2 (73,878 sq mi). Its population was 962,000 in 2002.
Jiuquan is the closest major city to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Still, the space launch center is more than 100 km (62 mi) away from the city, and is actually located not in Gansu province, but in the neighboring Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It was built in 1958; the first Chinese human spaceflight, Shenzhou 5 was launched there on 15 October 2003, making Yang Liwei China's first astronaut and a national hero.[8] The second was in 2005.
The well-known Mogao Grottoes is located in Dunhuang which is under the jurisdiction of Jiuquan prefecture.