Everyone wants to experience the moon. There are two options: travel there… or create a similar one here. Is it possible? For the Chinese, nothing is impossible. The artificial moon that China will make proves it. It will allow them to simulate low-gravity environments using magnetism. An unusual laboratory.
The Chinese moon will be put into use this year. It will use powerful magnetic fields inside a vacuum chamber 60 centimeters in diameter. It will thus make gravity “disappear,” he explains Live Science.
The chamber is the first of its kind in the world. It could maintain such low-gravity conditions for as long as necessary. At least, that detailed Li Ruilin, a geotechnical engineer at the China University of Mining and Technology. The facility will also be filled with rocks and dust to mimic the lunar surface.
The artificial moon will be used to test technologies in prolonged low-gravity environments. It will be done before sending them to our natural satellite. There the gravity is only one-sixth that of the Earth. In this way it will be possible to solve any costly technical problems still on our planet. In addition, it will be tested whether or not certain structures survive on the lunar surface.
The facility will also make it possible to assess the feasibility of a human settlement on the Moon, reported LS.
Inspiration in frogs
Some of the experiments, such as an impact test, need only a few seconds in the simulator. On the other hand, days are necessary in some cases. For example? Testing how much a material deforms in low gravity environments by constant temperature and stress.
The inspiration for the creation of the Chinese artificial moon was an earlier experiment. Magnets were used to levitate a frog. It was done by Andre Geim, a physicist at the University of Manchester (UK). He won the satirical Ig Nobel Prize in 2000 for the experiment.
The artificial moon to be made by China
The results on the artificial moon that China will make will go a long way. They will use them in their lunar program, Chang’e, which has a big goal. It would put a lunar research station at the south pole of the natural satellite by 2029.