China will establish the first base of simulation of Mars in the country, in Qinghai province, northwest China, the local government reported Monday.
The base is on the red cliff in the region of Da Qaidam (also known as Dachaidan) in the Mongolian district and the Tibet Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi.
Located in the western part of Qinghai Qaidambekken in Haixi was chosen for its similar shape of Mars, landscape and climate, said Wang Jingzhai, deputy head of the prefectural party.
The Haixi government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have signed an agreement in November last year to build the base and discuss the project site ever since.
The base, consisting of one and “Mars field” “Mars community” will be transformed into the first cultural and tourist experience of China for space and astronomy education, Mars tourism, scientific research and Movie shooting.
China also aims to launch a Mars probe around 2020 to carry out orbiting and roving exploration, followed by a second mission that would include collection of surface samples from the red planet, according to an official white paper ‘China’s Space Activities in 2016’.