China To Build First Mars Simulation Base On Earth

Posted: Jul 29 2017, 6:23pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
China to Build First Mars Simulation Base on Earth
Credit: NASA

The base will simulate conditions on Mars in a desert lying in China’s northwest

China is set to build its first simulation Mars base in the desert of country’s Qinghai province. According to South China Morning Post, China’s space agency has reached an agreement with Haixi prefecture. The base will not only simulate the conditions on Mars but also serve as a cultural and tourist attraction.

China is speeding up the development of its space industry as it is planning to launch its first Mars probe in 2020. They are also aiming to become the first country to reach the far side of the moon around 2018. With this space program, China is well on its way to becoming a space superpower.

For years, the space race is dominated by Russia and US. Though China arrived relatively late to space travel, it is making rapid progress with its space endeavors. China sent its first manned mission to space in 2003. It then staged a spacewalk and landed a rover on the moon in 2013. Manned landing on moon and Mars may also be a part of the future program but preparations for the departure are already underway.

The "Mars Village", as researchers are calling it, will be built in Qaidam Basin – the northeastern section of Qinghai-Tibet plateau. The landscape of Qaidam Basin consists of vast, arid desert. Due to its extremely hot and dry conditions, it is an ideal place to replicate Mars-like environment.

Liu Xiaoqun, director of the General Office of the Lunar and Deep-Space Exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences says that the facility will provide visitors with a unique scientific and cultural experience. It might also include a set for shooting films and TV shows.

“The main part of the attraction will consist of two functional zones. One being "Mars communities" and the other being "Mars camps.” Liu told People’s Daily Online.

China is already testing “Lunar Palace” for future manned mission to moon. Lunar Palace is a research facility for developing a moon base in which volunteers are experiencing conditions found on moon with no input from the outside world. China is hoping to send astronauts to the moon sometime in the 2030s.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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