Chinese researchers have started 200-day self-sustaining project under name Lunar Palace I. Four students from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics will be staying for 200 days under conditions similar to those in space. The experiment for 200-day self-sustaining stay has been started after conducting a similar experiment for 60 days. China is trying hard to improve its position in space exploration technologies.
The Lunar Palace 365 Project will explore how humans can survive in a self-sustaining ecosystem and the project will help astronauts in living under extreme conditions. Students selected for the project from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics will stay for 200 days in bunkers.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked scientists to develop technologies and work on ambitious space projects to compete with Russia and the United States. China is aiming to launch its first probe to the dark side of the moon next year. The Chinese space agency has also planned a manned mission to moon by 2036.
Professor Liu Hong, the principal architect behind Lunar Palace 365 Project said, “We’ve designed it so the oxygen (produced by plants at the station) is exactly enough to satisfy the humans, the animals, and the organisms that break down the waste materials. If you spend a long time in this type of environment it can create some psychological problems.”
Private space technology companies are working on improving space travel technology. SpaceX has been successful with its reusable rockets. SpaceX is also having an ambitious plan for manned mission to planet Mars in coming years.
A report published by Blasting News informed, “China sets its vision on becoming a giant on space exploration. It is hoping to follow if not overtake the achievements made by Russia and America. In 2013, the country was the third country to have sent a spacecraft to the moon and the following it has sent a probe there.”
If projects such as Lunar Palace 365 are successful, they could allow China to establish a permanent off-planet base of operations.