Four volunteers agreed to live in a closed laboratory to simulate a long-term space mission without interference from the outside world.
Chinese students spent 200 days in the “lunar laboratory” in Beijing. This is another step towards China’s long-term goal of sending people to Earth’s satellite.
Four students lived in a room with an area of 160 m 2 called “Yuegong-1” (Moon Palace), located in the Beyhan campus. The experiment allowed to assess the ability of people to be in an autonomous space.
The experience helped get the participants to act at the limit, but the organizers report that they have passed all the tests. The habitat treated human waste with a biological fermentation process, and volunteers were able to grow experimental crops and vegetables using food and waste. Two men and two women initially agreed to spend 60 days indoors. Then they were replaced by another group, and the period was increased to 200 days. Now the first participants will return for an additional 105 days of isolation.
China does not plan to land its astronaut on the satellite for another 10 years. But this project allows to prepare lunar explorers for a longer stay in another world.
Now the country is investing billions of dollars in a space program to catch up with Europe and the United States. In 2022, they hope to create their own outpost.
Russia and America also conducted experiments on the modeling of conditions for long-term space flight and life on Mars. For Beijing, this project symbolizes the country's progress and a new level.