Chinese Volunteers Complete 200 Days On Virtual Moon Base

Posted: Jan 26 2018, 11:31pm CST | by , Updated: Jan 26 2018, 11:37pm CST, in Latest Science News


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Chinese Volunteers Complete 200 Days on Virtual Moon  Base
Volunteers work at the laboratory of the Yuegong-1 project in Beijing.

A group of four students from Beihang University spent 200 continuous days in a ground-based lab called Lunar Palace

Last year, China opened a laboratory on Earth to stimulate moon-like environment and send several volunteers in it. The aim was to test the limits of humans' ability to live in a self-contained space and to prepare for the country’s long term goal of putting humans on moon.

Now, the volunteers have completed 200 continuous days in lunar lab in Beijing and survived in a place where they could not receive any input from the outside world.

China is planning to reach the far side of moon by 2018 and to send astronauts on moon by 2036. Learning how human body responds to the conditions in distant locations is crucial for living in a place like moon. To do so, China created a sealed lab on Earth and mimicked a long-term space mission.

The lunar lab, dubbed "Lunar Palace" or "Yuegong-1", is a 160-square-meter cabin and represents the "world's most advanced closed-loop life-support technology so far." The facility supports a bio-fermentation process where volunteers grew experimental crops and vegetables with the help of food and waste byproducts.

“The experiment was designed to see how the Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLSS), in which animals, plants and microorganisms co-exist, works in a lunar environment, as well as the physical and mental conditions of humans in such an environment.” Chinese agency Xinhua reported.

The first group of volunteers, two men and two men, entered the lab in May for an initial stay of 60 days. Then they were replaced by another group of four, who stayed in the lab for 200 days. The first group of volunteers, who had previously spent 60 days, will now return and start the third and final phase lasting 105 days.

The Lunar Palace is the world's third bioregenerative life-support base and the first developed in China. Russia and the United States are already carrying out experiments to simulate conditions for long-term space missions to Mars and beyond.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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