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China Starts Testing of Space Cabin Yuegong-1 for Manned Mission to the Moon

May 12, 2017 09:24 AM EDT
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China tests its space cabin designed to protect astronauts during its manned mission to the moon. Volunteers will spend 60 to 200 days aboard a simulation cabin to test the technology.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

China wants to become the next space giant. The country is reportedly developing its very own space station. The country's space agency also started testing the space cabin for the scheduled moon mission.

In an experiment, Chinese volunteers will live in a simulated space cabin up to 200 days. The experiment is part of Beijing's plan to send a manned mission to the moon. China plans to execute its lunar mission in the next two decades.

The country has been launching space missions one after the other since President Xi Jinping announced the country's intent to lead global space exploration. Part of China's ambitious goal is to send humans to the moon in 2018 and potentially start a colony by sending astronauts by 2036.

The experiment was conducted to test the astronauts' capability to spend isolation for long period of time and the capability of the life support system. Xinhua, China's official news agency, said that during the testing, astronauts may stay in the simulated cabin for 60 up to 200 days.

"While it remains unclear exactly how long China's first lunar explorers will spend on the surface, the country is already planning for longer stays," the official news agency said.

Yuegong-1 will be used to host the volunteers. It is designed to mimic the environment on the moon. The Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLSS) was installed and will be tested. It will help recycle food and water for the astronauts on board.

"The latest test is vital to the future of China's moon and Mars missions and must be relied upon to guarantee the safety and health of our astronauts," Liu Zhiheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

Although expectedly, the Yuegong-1 cabin is innovative and technologically advanced, it is very small in size. Nevertheless, official say that it also houses greenhouses for growing plants.

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