Inside China's first Mars simulation base: Incredible footage reveals new £46m site that combines red planet research with a space exploration camp for tourists


China has unveiled its £46 million ($61 million) base designed to simulate what life would be like for astronauts on Mars.


The site in a remote section of China's arid Gobi desert features living accommodation, and aims to boost local tourism and research of the red planet.


Beijing hopes the project will inspire China's next generation of deep space astronauts.


Last year, officials revealed plans to launch an unmanned probe to Mars in 2020. They claimed the mission would pave the way for a 'robotic and human settlement' on the planet, but stopped short of providing a date for manned missions.


The new simulation base is located in the Gobi Desert, 25 miles (40 kilometres) outside the city of Jinchang, in northwest China's Gansu Province.

The spot was picked for its distinctive red and rocky land form, making it an ideal setting for Mars simulations.


It comprises a large Mars-themed tourist attraction open to the general public and a simulated space exploration camp for those who want a taste of life on the planet. Among the site's nine cabins are living quarters, an airlock room and a mission control centre - modules that could be used by China's future Mars colonies. The park also features an area for visitors to experience a trip on the 'Martian surface' in mock spacesuits.


'[The base] has several sections. It can tell us how to survive in severe environment when we arrive in the Mars,' site spokesperson Tian Rusen said. Visitors will answer 'questions such as where we can stay, where we can do scientific experiments to serve the globe and which experiments are more valuable,' he said.


译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46300.html   译者:Jessica.Wu



The base opened its doors for media previews last week, but it remains unclear when tickets will be available to members of the public.

The base will become China's first cultural and tourist experience base for space education, Mars-themed tourism, scientific research and film shooting, according to state broadcaster CCTV.


Officials said that while the site may be used to conduct some small research experiments, it will primarily be used as a tourist attraction.


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Mr Tian said: 'The base provides teenagers a chance to experience what it's like to live on Mars and learn how technology leads society forward.'


The base is a part of the country's 'C Space Plan', a project of space education for Chinese teenagers, which was launched in Jinchang last week.


'People dream about migrating to Mars,' said Liu Xiaoqun, director of lunar and deep space exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

'We want to give people a high-end experience of what it would actually be like to live in outer space.'


China is attempting to drive interest in its space exploration programme, which has accelerated rapidly over the past two decades.



A mission to land an unmanned probe on the red planet by 2020 is 'well underway', according to one of the country's top space scientists.

Zhang Rongqiao, the mission's chief architect, revealed last year that a probe carrying 13 types of payload is under development.


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