MARS BASE 1 & ASTEROIS COMET MISSION
What’s in news?
- In the middle of China’s Gobi desert sits a Mars base simulator, but instead of housing astronauts training to live on the Red Planet, the facility is full of teenagers on a school trip.
- China to Launch Ambitious Asteroid-Comet Mission in 2022.
Mars Base 1:
- A company called C-Space recently opened “Mars Base 1” at arid Gobi Desert.
- Surrounded by barren hills in north-western Gansu province, “Mars Base 1” opened on April 16, 2019 with the aim of exposing teens.
- The white-colored base built at a cost of 50 million yuan has a silver dome and nine modules, including living quarters, a control room, a greenhouse and an airlock.
- However, Mars Base 1 has received criticism from a few scientists as the surrounding desert does not represent the hostile conditions of Mars.
- Unlike Earth, which is mostly covered with liquid water, Mars is very dry and dusty. It is very expensive when we yet to recreate a mars like environment.
- Last month, a “Mars village” was also opened in the Qaidam Basin in Qinghai.
- The spacecraft will explore a near-Earth asteroid and an odd rock in the asteroid belt.
- In the past January, China’s Chang’e 4 spacecraftmade a first-ever soft landing on the lunar far side gave a boost to launch a bold mission just three years from now.
- The future mission will explore both an asteroid and a comet.
- The current plan, which is still under discussion, calls for a probe to visit and collect samples from the small near-Earth asteroid 2016 HO3 (also known as Kamo’oalewa).
- After collecting the samples, the probe will fly back to the proximity of Earth, and a return capsule will be released to bring the samples back to Earth and then the probe continue its journey.
- Comet 133P/Elst-Pizarro is not your typical icy wanderer. Rather, it’s an odd hybrid beast known as a “main-belt comet” — an asteroid-belt body that has displayed comet-like activity in the past.
- The object may in fact be an “active asteroid,” a cosmic class with just a handful of known members. A recent addition to this list is the near-Earth space rock Bennu, which NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe has been exploring up close since late last year.