China moon base to aid deep space exploration
China is carrying out in-depth research and long-term planning for its manned lunar exploration, and has formed a consensus and a preliminary plan, a senior space engineer has said.
At the 1st China Space Science Assembly in Xiamen in southeast China’s Fujian Province, from last Friday to on Monday, Chen Shanguang, deputy chief designer of China’s manned space program, said the trend of manned space travel is to explore the moon, establish a lunar base for scientific research, gather technology and experience for going deeper into space.
“The long-term goal is to send people to Mars,” Chen said.
Manned lunar exploration will help improve humans’ understanding of the evolution of the moon, as astronauts may set up facilities to obtain scientific data and samples, Chen said.
Astronauts may carry out multi-disciplinary research in fields such as physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology, and in-situ resource utilization by taking advantage of the characteristics of the moon, such as low gravity, its weak magnetic field and high vacuum. The research could promote innovation and the development of basic science.
Solving the scientific problems of human survival on the moon could lay a foundation for humans to go further into deep space.