Reuters reports China is testing the ability for future astronauts to stay on the moon for extended periods, as Beijing accelerates its space program and looks to put people on the surface of the moon within the next two decades. The official Xinhua news agency said volunteers would live in a “simulated space cabin” for between 60-200 days over the next year helping scientists understand what will be needed for humans to “remain on the moon in the medium and long terms”. Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for China to become a global power in space exploration, with plans to send a probe to the dark side of the moon by 2018, the first ever such trip, and to put astronauts on the moon by 2036. Two groups of four volunteers will live in the simulated cabin “Yuegong-1” to test how a life-support system works in a moon-like environment.
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