A first look at China’s Mars simulation base out in the Gobi Desert

China’s Mars simulation base in Gansu Province. CCTV/Framegrab

China’s first Mars simulation base opened to the press on Friday in Gansu Province in the northwest of the country, providing a glimpse of the project mainly intended to popularise space among youth.

The base is located in the Gobi Desert, 40 kilometres away from the downtown area of Jinchang, a city in Gansu. The natural features, landscape and climate are being described as resembling Martian conditions.

The newly-built base has an extravehicular site and nine modules, including an airlock module, a general control module and a bio-module.

“[The base] has several sections. It can tell us how to survive in severe environment when we arrive in the Mars, including such questions as where we can stay, where we can do scientific experiments to serve the globe and which experiments are more valuable,” said Tian Rusen, an expert on space and science outreach.

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