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HomeUncategorizedChina Builds its Own 'Artificial Moon' to Stimulate Low Gravity on Earth

China Builds its Own ‘Artificial Moon’ to Stimulate Low Gravity on Earth


  • It is thought to be the first of its sort and could be crucial to the country’s future moon expeditions.
  • A magnetic field supports the landscape, which was inspired by efforts to float a frog.
China builds artificial moon with low-gravity and rocky surface. First-of-its-kind facility could play a key role in the country’s future lunar missions. | The Telegraph

JIANGSU, CHINA – China has constructed a research facility that simulates the low-gravity condition on the moon, which was inspired by studies that used magnets to levitate a frog.

According to scientists involved in the project, the facility might provide valuable research for China’s lunar exploration endeavors. The simulator, which is located in the eastern city of Xuzhou in Jiangsu province, is anticipated to be officially released in the coming months.

The China University of Mining and Technology’s lead scientist, Li Ruilin, said it was the “first of its kind in the world” and will take lunar modeling to a whole new level.

The artificial moon is housed in a vacuum chamber, despite being only 60 centimetres in diameter in comparison to the genuine moon’s 3,474.8 kilometres.

The landscape is composed of rocks and dust similar to that found on the Moon, and it is supported by a magnetic field powerful enough to lift small items such as a chestnut and a live frog.

“Some experiments such as an impact test need just a few seconds [in the simulator],” Li told the South China Morning Post. “But others such as creep testing can take several days.”

Scientists will be able to test equipment in a lunar environment, potentially avoiding costly blunders.

The Chang’e mission, which landed a rover on the far side of the Moon and returned rock samples to Earth, did not collect as many samples as planned due to unanticipated resistance from the drill. Experiments on smaller models may be able to avoid these catastrophes in the future.

The simulator could also be used to see if 3D printing can be utilized to build structures on the Moon’s surface, including those suitable for human habitation.

The facility was inspired by physicist Andrew Geim’s experiment in which he levitated a frog using a magnet, which earned the Russian scientist the humorous Ig Nobel prize.

“Magnetic levitation is certainly not the same as antigravity, but there is a variety of situations where mimicking microgravity by magnetic fields could be invaluable to expect the unexpected in space research”, he told the publication.

This article contains materials from South China Morning Post.

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