For 200 days, four Chinese people lived as if they were on the moon. China and Europe are planning a permanent lunar base, where astronauts can provide their own food.
The four volunteers lived in a 42 m2 module and grew food in two linked modules, following them.
Man must go to the moon again. That is the ambition of several space agencies. China's space program, for example, is working on a stationary lunar base where taikonauts and astronauts can stay for years.
Four test subjects tested what it is like to spend 200 days on a closed basis.
The experiment took place at the Lunar Palace research station, which the Chinese space organization built on Earth. Lunar Palace contains one living module and two modules for crops.
Power failure was resolved
Four volunteers, two men and two women, grew their own food and recycled their waste. According to Liu Hong, the chief designer of Lunar Palace, the trial was a success.
The test subjects managed without external help, solved problems such as power outages and were able to cope well with the mental challenge of living in isolation for so long.© Imago Stock / All Over, AFP / Ritzau Scanpix & ESA.
Lunar environment is heavy for the body
China has announced that its lunar base can become a reality in cooperation with the European space agency ESA.
This has given new life to ESA's existing plans for a lunar base. Materials from the moon itself must be used to construct the base.
The moon has no magnetic field that protects the human body against charged sun particles.
Other challenges are that the moon has no atmosphere and that gravity is only one sixth of that on Earth.