China Space Program Bound for Mars –“Creating First ‘Mars Village’ Simulation Base on Earth”



China is set to build its first simulation Mars base. The "Mars Village", will be built in the northeastern section of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, with its landscape of Qaidam Basin consists of vast, arid desert –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.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced a goal for its team to launch a Mars Rover by 2020 with an expected landing date to the planet by 2021.

"Although we are not the first Asian nation to send a probe to Mars," said Ye Peijian, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), as saying. "We want to start at a higher level."

Other nation's have set up bases to simulate living on Mars, or the journey to the Red Planet.

A study funded by Nasa allowed six researchers to live in a mockup Mars habitat in Hawaii for a year from August 2015. A group of volunteers, including a Chinese citizen, lived in a mock spaceship in Moscow for 520 days beginning in 2010, the estimated time needed to travel from Earth to Mars and back.

China's Mars probe could be prepared for liftoff on July or August 2020, traversing 54.6 million kilometers (33.9 million miles) – and taking an estimated 500 days to reach the planet. The probe will contain three elements: orbiter, lander and rover. The orbiter would conduct surveys of Mars, while a lander would deliver the Rover to the planet.

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 Daily Galaxy via South China Morning Post and CCTV 


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