China Opens Mars Simulator for Tourists
CHINA has opened a Mars Simulation Base in the Gobi Desert.
Unlike other facilities of this kind - like NASA’s Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation and the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah - China’s Mars base is primarily a tourist attraction for students and not a training ground for astronauts.
The USD $62 million facility has been positioned on an arid, rocky plateau in the Gobi desert, which approximates Mars' climatic conditions and appearance.
Above: China's Mars simulator may look the part, but it is in fact an educational facility and tourist attraction (image courtesy of CGTN).
Similarly, the new base will be useful to scientists wanting to test space rovers and solar cells, but also conduct scientific analysis of the area.
The facility tries to present a faithful simulation of a potential Mars base, including a control room, an indoor vertical farm, sleeping quarters and an airlock cabin.
Above and Below: Nevertheless, it does contain things like an airlock and an indoor vertical farm (images courtesy of CGTN).
There is a renewed global interest in space exploration. Several nations have already announced they will be carrying out research and simulation of Martian conditions, with the latest being the Poland Mars Analogue Simulation in 2017 consisting of six volunteers and lasting for two weeks.
Above: There is a renewed interest in space travel; for instance Dubai asked Danish architecture firm BIG to design a Mars "simulation city"(image courtesy of BIG).
Additionally, Dubai has asked Danish architecture practice Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design a USD $140 million simulation and research centre which would feature a solar radiation blocking dome and 3D printed walls.
Above: nevertheless, China's Mars base simulator may be used to test solar cells and rovers in the future (image courtesy of CGTN).
To learn more about the construction industry’s space race, watch our documentary: