[FPSPACE] Chinese to engage in simulation of a long-term Moon settlement station

Peter Pesavento pjp961 at svol.net
Thu May 11 10:48:08 EDT 2017


>From the BBC:

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-39880165?ocid=socialflow_twitter

 


China takes aim at the moon with long-term cabin trial


China is taking another step in its space exploration programme, starting a
trial scenario for a permanent moon station.

Science students have moved into a cabin to simulate life in a lunar-like
environment for up to 200 days.

The goal is to prepare for a long-term space mission with no input from the
outside world. 

China has poured huge funding into its space programme to rival that of the
US and Russia.

Four postgraduate students from the astronautics university of Beihang on
Wednesday moved into the cabin, ambitiously called the Yuegong-1, or Lunar
Palace in English. 

They will stay in the cabin for 60 days, followed by another group who will
stay for 200 days. The first four will then return for yet another 105 days.



Isolated, self-contained


According to state news agency Xinhua, one of the main elements of the
experiment is to explore is how a space mission could be entirely
self-contained over a long period of time. 

Human waste will undergo a bio-fermentation process, and crops and
vegetables are to be grown with the help of food and waste by-products.

The model moon station has two plant cultivation modules and a living cabin
housing four bed cubicles, one common room, a bathroom, a waste treatment
room and a room for raising animals.

While the experiments aboard the Lunar Palace are aimed at preparing lunar
explorers for long stays on the moon, China does not plan to land its first
astronauts there for at least another 10 years. 

In October 2016, Beijing launched two men
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-37670842>  into orbit to dock
with the experimental Tiangong 2 space lab and spend 30 days there, the
longest stay in space by Chinese astronauts.

This and previous launches have been seen as pointers to possible crewed
missions to the Moon or Mars.

China is only the third country - after Russia and the US - to carry out its
own crewed missions. In 2013 it successfully landed its un-crewed Yutu, or
Jade Rabbit, rover on the Moon. 

It was excluded from the International Space Station due to concerns over
the military nature of its space ambitions.


Life on Mars?


China is not the only country exploring the conditions for long-term space
travel. 

In the US, a team of six people completed a Mars
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37211051>  simulation in Hawaii
in 2016, where they lived in near-isolation for a year.

The group lived in close quarters in a dome without fresh air, fresh food or
privacy.

The Nasa-funded study by the University of Hawaii was the longest of its
kind since a similar Russian mission that lasted 520 days and had six men
locked away in steel tubes for a year-and-a-half to simulate a mission to
Mars.

The Mars500 project, undertaken at a Moscow institute, was intended to find
out how the human mind and body would cope on a long-duration spaceflight.

 

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