Jul 16, 2019, 12:09 PM
Journalist ID: 2375
News Code: 83397724
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Chinese students aspire to explore universe at Mars camp in Qinghai

Tehran, July 16, IRNA/Global Times - A number of Chinese students are in the middle of a unique summer holiday at a Mars-themed camp, in Northwest China's Qinghai province, which has inspired them to become space explorers.

The camp teaches astronomy and astrophysics to primary and high-school students who aspire to someday become astronauts, Jiang Feng, co-founder of the camp, told the Global Times.

The camp is located in the Gobi desert at the unique Yadan landforms, where the landscape resembles Mars.

"The landscape makes the camp highly suitable for students to conduct survival training," Jiang said.

The "Mars camp" opened on March 1 in Lenghu, a tourist town that will be built to promote Mars research and sci-fi culture, said Tian Cairang, Party chief of Mangya, which administers Lenghu.

"The base will be a great inspiration and guide to help us understand more about the universe," Fu Xiaotian, one of the dozens of students from Beijing Bayi School, who began their five-day study trip at the camp, told the Global Times.

During the trip, the students will learn how to use GPS and a remote-controlled Mars rover. They will take part in experience activities including a "Mars Walk," and simulated astronaut training and survival techniques in space.

In the near future, when countries plan to send humans to Mars, "I will try my best to be one of them," said Liu Haoran, another student from Beijing Bayi School. Many of his schoolmates have the same aspirations.

"We invited outstanding students to the camp to inspire their interests in space and science, and encourage them to apply the knowledge they learn in class to real life. I believe they could be promising candidates to go to Mars," said Song Xiaomeng, a chemistry teacher from the school who is leading his students at the camp.

The camp was welcomed by schools and other Chinese education institutions and is almost fully booked during the summer holiday, Jiang said.

A number of university students have volunteered to serve as assistant teachers and support crew at the camp.

A similar Mars survival simulation base camp is also situated in Jinchang, Northwest China's Gansu province.

Chinese scientists in July announced that China will launch its first mission to Mars in 2020 and the construction of its rover has been completed, which has sparked the public's passion to explore Mars.

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