China tests bioregenerative life-support system in Beijing
The project is known as the Lunar Palace 365 experiment. The first batch of volunteers lived in the sealed lab for 60 days. The second batch will live there for 200 days, while the third group will live in the lab for 105 days. This brings the duration of the experiment to a full 365 days.
BEIJING — Four Chinese students have volunteered to live in a sealed laboratory in Beijing for 200 days to test a self-sustaining ecosystem in preparation for China’s upcoming manned moon mission.
The laboratory, known as Lunar Palace 1, has an area of 160 square meters and consists of one integrated module, which houses living facilities, and two plant cultivation modules. Four students from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics entered the laboratory on Sunday.
Plants and silkworms are being grown inside the Lunar Palace to provide food for the crew. Oxygen is generated by the plants, which are fertilized by the crew’s waste. It is the first bioregenerative life-support base developed in China, and third in the world.
One of the main objectives of the experiment is to determine the mental impact of living in a confined space for an extended duration, and living without sunlight for a period of time.
"They can become a bit depressed. If you spend a long time in this type of environment it can create some psychological problems,” Liu Hong, a professor at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the project's principal architect told Channel News Asia.
The project is known as the Lunar Palace 365 experiment. The first batch of volunteers lived in the lab for 60 days. The third batch will live in the lab for 105 days, taking the duration of the experiment to a full 365 days.
China plans to send the first probe to the dark side of the moon by 2018, and has plans for a manned moon mission by 2036.
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