The first artificial moon of its kind in the world and that can lead to a simulation of the Earth’s satellite, as had never been seen before and with the idea of overcoming gravity, equaling the one that already exists on the Moon. This is how scientists from the University of Mining and Technology of China define this new invention of the Asian giant, which is expected to be launched in the coming months.
Aimed at preparing astronauts for future exploration missions, the facility is located in the city of Xuzhou, in Jiangsu province. The “artificial moon” may turn gravity on and off whenever needed and just as it did with its “artificial sun”, China anticipates building your own satellite. In the case of the sun, the height was eleven meters and eight diameter, and it was a nuclear reactor that would allow the country to produce almost unlimited clean energy, just as it was possible multiply the temperature of the Sun for more than 17 minutes and reaching 70 million degrees. An investment close to 1,000 million dollars and that will continue to be experimented until June, although it is clear that, if the system fails, it could have consequences of a catastrophic magnitude. South Korea, meanwhile, is also emulating another artificial sun.
The gravity on the moon is only one sixth of that on Earth. In the new facility, which functions as a vacuum chamber, an artificial lunar landscape is being recreated, made up of rocks and dust that are as light as those found on the surface of the moon. The China National Space Administration hopes its moon will help them test lunar equipment inside the small simulated space as well, such as testing whether 3D printing equipment works in low-gravity conditions to build structures on the real lunar surface.
Li Ruilin, the project’s lead researcher, says it is “the first simulator of its kind in the world.” It also indicates that its effectiveness is so good that can make gravity “disappear” without a time limit, as collected by Xataka. “Some experiments, like a crash test, only need a few seconds [en el simulador]. But others, like stress tests, can take several days,” explains Li.
According to the South China Morning Post, the moon is 60 centimeters in diameter and has a magnetic field strong enough to counteract the force of Earth’s gravity. In this way, says the Hong Kong media, it could levitate small things, such as a chestnut or small animals such as a frog.
The inspiration for this system comes from Russian physicist André Geim’s work on magnetic levitation, which China has used to accelerate its missions to the moon. Recently, it announced its intention to advance the construction of its lunar base to 2027, which has the collaboration of Russia. Thus, it would be up to eight years ahead of schedule.
It must be remembered that China has never signed the Artemis Agreements, a pact between nations sponsored by the United Nations, which reveals the need for peaceful collaboration between nations as the fundamental basis of space exploration and promote transparency in their scientific and exploration missions. The space program continues to grow. Recently, it became the first nation to detect water directly on the Moon’s surface thanks to its Chang’e-5 probe. It also plans to put humans on Mars within ten years, as does SpaceX.