China’s Mars will feature zero gravity, hiking trails and an amusement park


The space race just got closer to home.

China recently unveiled plans to recreate Mars in a 35,000 square mile region of Tibet.

The $61 million project is expected to be both a tourist destination and training grounds for future astronauts.

Located near the westernmost tip of the Great Wall, the replica will be built in Qinghai province, an arid, rocky stretch of desert land described by China’s official news agency as “the most Martian place on Earth.”

“People dream about migrating to Mars, so what we want to do is give people a high-end experience of what it would actually be like to live in outer space,” Liu Xiaoqun, the director of lunar and deep space exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the South China Morning Post.

Attractions are expected to include a Mars-themed amusement park, hiking trails, some type of zero-gravity experience and a camping area where visitors will sleep in “module-like accommodations,” according to Xinhua. At least one section of the cold, dry region will dedicated to astronaut training and research.

The plan is just a piece of China’s multi-billion dollar race to become a galactic superpower. In December, the China National Space Administration revealed a five-year plan that has them landing two probes on the moon by 2018 and launching an unmanned mission to Mars by 2020. In April, they announced they were working with the European Space Agency to build a base on the moon.

China isn’t allowed on the International Space Station and has been blocked from working with NASA since 2011— due to their space program’s close ties with the military.


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