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China’s Mars simulation base debuts in northwestern Gobi Desert

Updated: Oct 15,2018 3:04 PM     CGTN

China’s Mars simulation base made its first public appearance on Oct 12 along with the launch of the country’s “Space Plan C”, a project of space education for teenagers.

The base is located in the Gobi Desert, 40 kilometers outside the city of Jinchang, Northwest China’s Gansu province. The unique landform and red rocks make the area a perfect place for tourists to experience the red planet on the earth.

There are nine cabins in the base, including airlock cabin, general control cabin and biopak, which restore the visionary simulation aspects on Mars.

“Visitors are able to learn how to live on Mars, and utilize those experiences to better help future development on earth,” said Tian Rusen, a space science expert.

Some other notable planet simulation bases include NASA’s Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah in the United States, Russia’s Mars500 project and the most recent one, the Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017.

However, unlike those bases, China’s Mars simulation base is not a serious simulation colony or a training ground for future Mars astronauts.

“It is first and foremost a Mars exploration-themed tourist site,” Liu Xiaoqun, director of the General Office of Lunar and Deep Space Exploration of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

“The base provides teenagers a chance to experience what it’s like to live on Mars and learn how technology leads society forward,” Tian told CCTV.