China concludes half-year ‘space’ survival experiment


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Four Chinese volunteers on Wednesday concluded their 180-day stay in a sealed space capsule in south China’s Shenzhen City, testing technology intended for space exploration.

The project’s technical chief, Li Yinghui, said the experiment was “a complete success”.

The volunteers have grown 25 kinds of plants and tested 635 pieces of equipment.

One experiment recycled supply all of the oxygen and water in the capsule and part of the food for the four volunteers, while other tests with regard to nutrition, hygiene, work and rest in space have also been completed.

The project also shed light on the physiological effects of a hermetic environment and changes to biological rhythms.

The volunteers – three men and one woman — were selected from 2,110 candidates after the Astronaut Center of China launched a call for volunteers in May last year. They have lived in a 1,340-cubic-meter sealed capsule with a floor space of 370 square meters for the past 180 days.

The project’s success has opened up new areas in life support technology for extraterrestrial bases, Li said.

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