Mars simulator to be built
China’s first Mars simulation base will be built in Qinghai province, according to a report by China News Service on Wednesday.
A symposium on the overall design of the base and a contract signing ceremony were held on Tuesday, the report said.
The base will be built in Qaidam Basin in the Dachaidan Hongya region of the Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan autonomous prefecture, a remote area of the QinghaiTibet Plateau. The area’s landforms, natural landscape and climate conditions closely resemble those of Mars, said Wang Jingzhai, the prefecture’s deputy Party chief.
Comprising more than 95,000 square kilometers of desert, the area has China’s largest Yadan landform, or dry areas with wind erosion. It also has other landforms, including mountains, prairie, the Gobi Desert, rivers and lakes.
Adjacent to many tourist attractions in the Hexi Corridor, located along the ancient Silk Road in Gansu province, the Mars simulation base will be turned into a cultural and tourist experience base that combines elements of science, science fiction, nature, ecology and culture, said Liu Xiaoqun, director of the general department of lunar and deep space exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The base will have two functional areas — a “Mars community” and a “Mars campsite” — which will be connected by road but will be invisible to each other, Liu said.
As the only one of its kind in China, the base will be built into a practical science education base that overlaps the fields of space, astronomy, geology, meteorology and new energy, Liu said, adding that the project “will be a highlight for the sustainable development of local tourism and cultural industries”.
China also plans to conduct at least one asteroid exploration mission before 2025.
Contestants from the engineering survey and design industry perform soil compaction tests in Kunming, Yunnan province, on Wednesday. About 150 technicians are attending the two-day skills competition in the city.