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Chinese scientists press ahead with lunar base construction project


An illustration of the
An illustration of the "Yuehuzun" lunar station. /CMG

An illustration of the "Yuehuzun" lunar station. /CMG

Researchers at China's Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) have made significant advancements in the exploration and development of lunar base construction techniques with the goal of establishing sustainable extraterrestrial settlements into reality.

Through extensive research, a team from HUST has identified and validated several promising solutions to addressing the unique challenges posed by the ultra-high vacuum environment on the lunar surface.

Since the start of the exploration project in 2015, the team has dedicated itself to research on building a human settlement on the moon, contributing to the country's lunar mission.

At the National Center of Technology Innovation for Digital Construction in Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei Province, a lunar station with egg-shaped houses is on show. It has been named "Yuehuzun."

"The egg-shaped Yuehuzun can grapple with the extreme environmental challenges on the moon," said Zhou Cheng, a professor at the center.

Zhou said Yuehuzun has a two-story hollow structure with an internal heating system. It has an airbag inside which can both resist moonquakes and has a high thermal insulation performance, so that they can serve as good working and living spaces for astronauts on the moon, Zhou explained.

Building stable and solid houses on the lunar surface was once a daunting problem that bewildered scientists worldwide. The Chinese scientists have long found 3D printing technology to be a solution to this conundrum. Through years of efforts, the solution has got more mature than it was initially proposed.

"The 3D printing technology allows us to quickly build some structures on the lunar surface. It is a method that enables us to use in-situ materials, and also a way to complete large-scale construction on the lunar surface," said Zhou.

China's Chang'e-6 probe touched down on the far side of the moon on Sunday morning. The probe has completed the most important part of its lunar adventure as its sample-loaded ascender lifted off from the moon's far side on Tuesday morning.

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