A 'Mars Village' Will Be Coming to Earth

China plans to build a Mars replica over 36K square miles of the Tibetan plateau
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2017 11:30 AM CDT
This image provided by NASA shows the planet Mars.   (NASA via AP)

(Newser) – China's Qinghai province may be remote, but it's a heck of a lot less remote than Mars. So for those looking to experience the latter but willing to travel to the former, good news: China in July announced that it intends to build a Mars replica on what the Guardian describes as "a spectacular, sandswept corner of the Tibetan plateau." The South China Morning Post has the latest on the so-called "Mars Village," which it reports will cost about $60 million, following recent meetings between government officials and scientists.

The desert locale has been described as Mars-like, thanks in part to the oddly shaped wind-eroded rocks, called yardang, found there, reported the Morning Post. The vision to cater to two types of voyagers: The 36,000-square-mile high-altitude camp will serve as a training ground for Chinese astronauts and tourists looking to experience a "high-end," glamping-like version of life on Mars. The Guardian tried to talk to project head Liu Xiaoqun about the plans, but got the cold shoulder from a rep for the Chinese Academy of Sciences: "Liu ... isn't in Beijing and he doesn't want to take any interviews." (America's version of Mars is on Hawaii.)

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