China to build Mars simulation base on Tibetan plateau

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Beijing, July 26 (IANS) China plans to build its first Mars simulation base on the Tibetan plateau in the northwest of the country, the official China Daily reported on Wednesday.

The base will be built in Qinghai province in the eastern part of the Tibetan plateau for scientific and tourist purposes, said Liu Xiaoqun, Director of lunar and deep space exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“The Mars simulation base will be turned into a cultural and tourist experience base that will combine elements of science, science fiction, nature, ecology and culture,” Liu told the daily.

The base will comprise two functional areas — “Mars community” and “Mars campsite” — which will be connected by road but not visible to each other, the daily said.

The area’s landform, natural landscape and climate conditions are similar to those of Mars, according to Wang Jingzhai, Deputy Chief of the Communist Party of China in Haixi prefecture, where the new base will be located.

The complex will be spread over an area of 95,000 square kilometres (36,679 sq miles). As the only one of its kind in China, the base has filled the gap in science practice education base that combines the fields of space, astronomy, geology, meteorology and new energy, Liu said.

–IANS

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