Chinese students agreed to live 200 days in a lab that mimics the lunar environment, while Beijing is preparing a mission to populate the moon. Among the volunteers were 4 graduate students from the Beykhan Metropolitan University of Astronautics. They were given a cabin with an area of 160 m 2, which is called the “Lunar Palace” (Yuegun-1).
Volunteers will not leave the laboratory until the end of the term to test the long-term autonomous space mission without communication with the outside world. Waste will be processed by biofermentation. China claims that the cabin represents the most advanced technology in the world for supporting life support in an enclosed space.
China does not seek to land its citizens on the moon for the next 10 years, but this project should prepare astronauts for a long stay on the surface. On Wednesday, two men and two women arrived at the laboratory for the first 60 days of isolation. Then they will be replaced by other four people, which will be closed for 200 days already. In the “Moon Palace” there are two modules for growing vegetation and a living cabin (42 m 2) with four beds, a common room, a bathroom, a waste treatment room and a place for raising animals.
In 2014, they conducted the first 105-day successful test. This is the third bioregenerating base of life support throughout the world. It is also the only structure that includes animals, plants, microorganisms and people.
Now China is investing billions in the military space program to catch up with Europe and the United States.