You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

China completes space colony experiment

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016

Four Chinese volunteers have completed a 180-day experiment living inside a closed capsule to explore the possibility of humans surviving in an isolated environment, with an eye on developing possible human colonies in space.

State broadcaster CCTV showed the volunteers, three men and a woman, coming out smiling and in apparent good health, from a closed enclosure in the southern city of Shenzhen and hugging their families.

The leader of the team of volunteers, Dr Tang, told the broadcaster they were relaxed now after completing the tough experiment.

During the experiment, promoted by the Astronaut Centre of China, German Aerospace Centre and Harvard University, several vital parameters of the volunteers, including changes in sleep patterns as well as psychological, physiological and bio-rhythmical changes were monitored.

The volunteers - Tang Yongkang, Luo Jie, Wu Shiyun and Tong Feizhou - lived in a 370-metre capsule, divided into eight compartments and which included a greenhouse, where they cultivated soybeans, groundnuts, lettuce, sweet potato and cabbage, among others, in artificial conditions.

The capsule had an internal ecological system, which allowed for recycling and regeneration of oxygen and water, reducing dependency on external supplies, with an objective of developing self-sufficient human colonies in the future.

With six manned missions, currently, China is one among the countries that are most intensely involved in space exploration.

It has also sent unmanned lunar probes and is planning a similar one to Mars.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon