China tests system to grow vegetables harvest oxygen on Mars

first_imgElon Musk wants to send 80,000 people to live on Mars, and there’s a good chance he may be relying on Chinese tech once he gets there to keep them alive. That’s because the Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center (CARTC) in Beijing is hard at work testing systems that make living on another planet possible.This week CARTC has tested a 300 cubic meter ecological life support system. The structure will apparently allow food to be grown and oxygen and water produced/purified on another planet, with the Moon and Mars being key targets for the system.The life support structure works by allowing the growth of vegetables, plants, and algae inside. In so doing, they provide a source of food, water, and oxygen that will allow a group of humans to live well beyond the life of the supplies carried on the spacecraft that ferried them there.Little is known about the test CARTC carried out other than the fact they managed to grow four types of vegetable. It seems likely China will deploy the life support system on the Moon for testing first as there are already plans for a manned mission to the lunar surface in the future.China will begin visiting the Moon next year when an unmanned craft will make the journey. That will eventually lead to Chinese astronauts setting foot on the Moon, and if China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei is to be believed, they intend to set up a branch of the Communist Party there, too.via AFPlast_img read more