MARS BASE SIMULATOR UNVEILED IN GOBI DESERT
18, Apr 2019
Prelims level : Science and technology Mains level : Science and Technology
Why in news:
- China’s Gobi Desert has a Mars base simulator, but instead of housing astronauts training to live on the red planet, full of teenagers on a school trip are allowed with the facility.
- It is surrounded by barren hills in north-western Gansu province.
- “Mars Base 1” is opened with the aim of exposing teens and soon tourists to show what life could be like on the planet.
- China is making progress in its efforts to catch up to the United States and become a space power, with ambitions of sending humans to the moon someday. The white-coloured base has a silver dome and nine modules, including living quarters, a control room, a greenhouse and an airlock. It is built at a cost of 50 million yuan, the base was constructed with help from the Astronauts Centre of China and the China Intercontinental Communication Centre, a state television production organisation. The teenagers are allowed to go on treks in the desert, where they explore caves in the Martian-like landscape. over 100 students from a nearby high school walked on the arid Gobi plains, dressed in suits like that of astronauts.
- The company behind the project is C-Space.
- By sending budding astronauts, they explore “Mars” on Earth
- China is planning to send a probe to the real red planet next year. Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space programme, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022. The facility, composed of a “Mars community” and a “Mars camp”, will provide tourists with a unique scientific and cultural experience.
- Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. In English, Mars carries a name of the Roman god of war. It is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the reddish iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance that is distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible to the naked eye.
- Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features like the craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.