Chinese volunteers quit virtual lunar base

Chinese volunteers quit virtual lunar base

In May 2017, volunteer students left the Moon Palace

A group of Chinese volunteers completed a 110-day isolation period in a virtual lunar laboratory. Official news services transmitted a snapshot of potential astronauts coming out of their temporary home — an autonomous environment that simulates the conditions that future researchers will encounter on the lunar surface.

In the video, students in masks and blue tennis shirts leave the room with vegetables and fruits. Inside the module also managed to grow strawberries and carrots. This is the group's second stay in the 160-meter Moon Palace, located on the campus of Beyhan University. The first attempt was limited to 60 days.

In the interim, a second group of four students spent 200 consecutive days at the facility. Volunteers lived in a sealed lab, simulating a long-term space mission without the outside world. The facility processes human waste with a biological fermentation process, while volunteers grow experimental crops using food and waste. In the Moon Palace there are two plants cultivation modules and a living cabin: 42 m 2, consisting of four beds, a common room, a bathroom, a waste treatment room and a room for raising animals.

A successful 105-day trial version was conducted in 2014. China does not plan to land its astronauts on the moon for about a decade. But the project seeks to prepare researchers for a long stay on the surface. The country hopes that in 2022 it will be possible to create an outpost.

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