In one of China's most famous folk tales, a woman named Chang'e flew to the moon after consuming an elixir of immortality and decided to live in a moon palace to stay close to her husband on earth.
Inspired After the thousand-year-old fairy tale, China has ambitions to build a real moon palace on the moon, according to its space agency. The China National Space Administration released a video (Link in Chinese) on April 24, the country's third space day, outlining its plans to build a scientific outpost on the moon
"China's dream of staying in one Moon Palace will soon become a reality, "the video said, summarizing the country's accomplishments and plans in space.
The proposed lunar outpost would consist of several tubular cabins in which scientists would live and conduct research. The agency did not set a specific timeframe, but Wu Weiren, chief designer of the Chinese Lunar Research Project, told CCTV in March that it could happen by 2030 (link in Chinese). The ideal place would be the south pole of the moon, which could have water and enough sunlight, he added.
Although China is working to send a probe to Mars, the moon remains a central part of its space ambitions. In 2013, it became the third country to make a soft landing on the moon with its robot Lander Chang # 3.
By the end of this year, it wants to send the first lunar probe to the dark side of the planet Moon. Previously, she plans to launch a relay satellite relay in May to establish communication between the Earth and her lander and Rover Chang # 4.
The name of the relay satellite, Queqiao, was also uncovered during the day. His name is inspired by another heavenly tradition. Queqiao, meaning a bridge of magpies, refers to the story behind the Qi Xi Festival (also known as Chinese Valentine's Day), where thousands of magpies built a bridge to unite a couple, a goddess in heaven, and their mortal husband
China has already built a prototype for its Moon Palace on Earth. A project known as Yuegong-1 or Lunar Palace 1 employs student researchers who live in a moon-like environment and rely on mealworms and crops to cultivate with their own waste manure. The experiment is expected to be completed next month.
However, China's first colonizers on the Moon will not be human. Instead, seeds of potatoes and Arabidopsis – a small flowering plant belonging to the mustard family – will participate in the moon probe Chang & # 39; e-4 along with silkworm cocoons.
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