May 23, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

China launches Martian simulator for budding space explorers

By Víctor Escribano

Mars Base 1 (China) Apr 17 (efe-epa).- As China's thirst for space exploration shows no signs of waning after it became the first country to land on the dark side of the moon, on Wednesday it launched a simulation center designed to give Earthlings a taster of what deep space travel and life on Mars could be like.

Sitting in the vast planes of the Gobi desert some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Jinchang in northern China, Mars Base 1 is a huge complex of nine interconnecting spaces spanning 1,000 square meters, although future plans for this Martian project are far more ambitious.

"This is not just futuristic, it is also about what it means to be human and return to our roots," Zhao Tianshu the director of the educational program at C-Space, the company in charge of the Mars Base 1 cosmic education project, told Efe.

Space tourism has gripped the Asian giant, especially following the Chang'e 4 lunar exploration mission successfully landed on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3, and this facility is hoping to cater for a growing interest in space exploration among young rookie Chinese astronauts.

The project has been backed by C-Space, local authorities and the Astronaut Centre of China.

The simulator, so far, has a series of capsules-come-bedrooms, a small medical center, bathrooms, and thousands of screens that display reams of data.

There is also a greenhouse with artificial light that harvests leeks, lettuces, wheat and cultivates worms for those in need of an exotic ration of protein.

As well as the domestic areas, there is a space module and exploration vehicles, and a black monolith that is remarkably similar to the one featured in Kubrick's "2001: Space Odyssey" (1968) movie.

But beyond the futuristic screens and neon lights which make the project look like a Star Trek set, the managers of the base are keen for visitors to go back to basics and learn to value and look after available resources which are scarce on the Martian base.

The facility opened to the public on Wednesday to hoards of excitable teenagers.

"I was already curious about Mars and other space phenomena like black holes, now I am even keener to visit Mars," Lyu Yueyao, a 13-year-old student who was visiting the base told Efe.

With China's ambition to explore space, it could be that someone from Yueyao's generation sets foot on the red planet for the first time and the student is certain this will be the case.

"China has many advantages because we have had many excellent astronauts," she said.

"I think we will reach great achievements in the space race in the future," Yueyao added.

Her colleague Li Yaqin was equally enthusiastic.

"I have learned a lot today but there are still many mysteries that we cannot explain," Yaqin said. "I want to solve these problems in the future."

The creator of C-Space, Bai Fan's long-term aim is to create a sort of Martian holiday camp with hotels, bars and facilities that he hopes to start building next year.

His aim is that the base becomes financially viable as soon as possible, although he recognizes that this won't happen within the next decade.

For the time being Bai will have to keep his feet firmly on the ground and make do with the education workshops and camps, one-day visits that can last up to seven hours and the longer stays which take place in the "space capsules" for anywhere between three and six days.

In fact it is this last profile of visitor that Bai aims to target in the long term, not only because they are the future Mars Base I customers looking for a cosmic holiday but also because it is these longer visits that allow for a "complete experience" of living in a hostile environment with an extreme climate and limited water and food.

"People will have to consider that if one day the Earth is no longer here and they have to build a base on Mars we will not only depend on technology but on knowing how to survive," Bai added.

The creators of the base also had science fiction movies in mind when they made the station.

In fact, the facilities were used for a Chinese reality TV program featuring celebrities who were confined within the Martian holiday camp for a Big Brother-style show titled "Space Challenge."

One of the key aims of C-Space is to awaken an interest among young Chinese people to become space explorers, and although many teenagers leave excited and happy after their visit, not all of them depart with a passion to become astronauts.

"I think it would be difficult to be an astronaut," 14-year-old Dou Zhang said.

"They have to exercise every day and that is difficult. What I would like to do would be to take creatures to space or create aliens like E.T.," Zhang added. EFE-EPA

vec/ch/sh

News history
Journalism in digital age must rethink how to reach its audience

By Gina Baldivieso

Craft-making on the decline in southern Mexico due to lack of pupils

By Mitzi Mayauel Fuentes Gomez

Israeli scientists brew beer using 5,000-year-old yeast

Jerusalem, May 22 (efe-epa).- Israeli scientists have brewed beer with ancient yeasts that were discovered in 5,000-year-old pottery.

Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood Photocall - 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Cannes, France, May 22 (efe-epa).- Quentin Tarantino said Wednesday that he is obsessed with the story of American cult leader Charles Manson at the...

Kenyan writer, LGBT activist Wainaina dies

Nairobi, May 22 (efe-epa).- Kenyan writer and famous LGBT activist Binyavanga Wainaina died in a hospital in Nairobi after suffering from a stroke, his...

Star Wars Canyon: where enthusiasts go to watch fighter pilots practice

By Ivan Mejia

Beekeeping organization in Israel aims to protect bees, promote practice

Yossi Aud has been housing bees in his back yard and teaching people about keeping the insects in a bid to help save them from extinction.

UK's Prince Charles and Camilla visit Ireland

Dublin, May 21 (efe-epa).- Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were given a "warm and friendly welcome" to Ireland.

Victoria: an exploration of the UK queen to mark 200th birth anniversary

London, May 21 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's Queen Victoria often evokes images of a stern-looking monarch dressed in head-to-toe black, but a new show...

Italian airline Alitalia cancels more than 280 flights due to strike

Rome, May 21 (efe-epa).- Italian airline Alitalia has canceled more than 280 flights on Tuesday amid a national 24-hour strike called by air sector unions.

Austrian Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies at 70

Vienna, May 21 (efe-epa).- Three-times Formula One world champion, racing team manager and airline businessman Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his...

Austrian Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda dies at 70

Vienna, May 21 (efe-epa).- Three-time Formula One champion and businessman, Austrian Niki Lauda, has passed away at the age of 70, his family announced...

Watching "Aladdin" as a boy, Mena Massoud saw himself reflected on the screen

By David Villafranca

Alain Delon presents his memories at Cannes but avoids controversy

By Alicia Garcia de Francisco

Chile to be main country at Berlinale European Film Market 2020

Cannes, France, May 19 (efe-epa).- Chile will be the featured country at the Berlinale European Film Market 2020, which will allow it to prepare its own...

Chelsea Flower Show features garden by Duchess of Cambridge

London, May 19 (efe-epa).- Green-fingered exhibitors are gearing up for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show in London, which will feature a garden designed by...

Netherlands wins Eurovision Song Contest, Spain comes in 22nd

By Javier Herrero

25Th death anniversary of Jackie Kennedy

By Javier Romualdo

Almodovar gets carried away in Cannes by emotion, memories and kisses

By Alicia García de Francisco

Stars, fans flock to San Juan for Puerto Rico Comic Con

San Juan, May 17 (efe-epa).- The 17th edition of Puerto Rico Comic Con got under way Friday at the San Juan Convention Center, kicking off a busy weekend of...

Almaty, Kazakhstan, May 17 (efe-epa).- Springtime takes on a special meaning along the foothills of the Alatau mountains surrounding the southern Kazakh...

Spanish play about role of poetry, beauty in a sick society comes to Uruguay

Alejandro Prieto

Lemon, cilantro and schnapps are chef Arbelaez's ingredients to success

By Alexandro Mojica

Two hundred years after Queen Victoria's birth her legacy lives on in London

London, May 17 (efe-epa).- Queen Victoria’s name lives on in London's architecture two hundred years after the birth of the British monarch.

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.