Updated: 26/07/17 : 07:25:41
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World :: China to build 'Mars Village'

A northwestern region nestled in the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has announced a plan to build China's first "Mars village" that will simulate the environment of the red planet.

Also known as the "Simulated Mars Station," the project would be located in the Da Qaidam Administrative Zone under the Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

A large part covered by the hyper-arid Qaidam Basin, the prefecture is known for its geographic variation, including mountains, grassland, the vast Gobi Desert, rivers and lakes. It also boasts impressive, large scale yardang landforms formed by wind erosion.

Liu Xiaoqun, director of the Lunar and Deepspace Exploration Department at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the site would fill a gap in China, providing a base for education and research related to aerospace, geography, geology, meteorology and new energy.

The station aims to combine science, fiction, nature and culture, and would be divided into two areas.

Liu also said the "Mars village" could be a great boost to the region's tourism and economy.

Wang Jingzhai, deputy Party chief of the prefecture, said the unique landscapes and arid climate conditions create a perfect Mars environment, while rich tourism resources would also underpin the project's development.