Xinhua News Agency reports that Chinese scientists have begun an experiment in which volunteers will live in conditions as close to the lunar as possible. The first four volunteers, two men and two women, today began to live in a specially prepared for this module "Yuegun-1" (Temple of the Moon-1).
In 60 days they will be replaced by the second group of volunteers, which will be held in the "Temple" for 200 days. After that, the participants of the first group will be returned to the simulator, which will stay there 105 days.
In the course of research, scientists are going to study the working capacity of the subjects, find out how under such conditions the bioregenerative life support system will function, and at the same time find out whether people can effectively interact with each other in rather difficult conditions and confined space.
"Yuegun-1" consists of a large cabin with an area of about 42 square meters, which includes sleeping places, a rest room, a bathroom, waste recycling equipment and a room for growing animals. In the module there are two "greenhouse" cabins, approximately 50-60 square meters each.
The life support system of the "Temple of the Moon" has already been tested for a hundred days two years earlier, but now it is being waited for by much more complex tests – it allows to coexist with plants, animals and microorganisms and works practically without human participation. Residents of the "lunar" module need only remember to throw organic waste into special compartments – so the system can maintain conditions close to the ground, fertilizing the soil, feeding up microorganisms and plants.
Civilians and experts from the Peking Aerospace University will participate in the experiment.