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China’s Artificial Moon

China’s Artificial Moon:

China has built an artificial moon research facility that is capable of lowering the gravity level using magnetism.

  • The research facility is scheduled to officially launch later this year.
  • This research facility is also said to be the first of its kind in the world.

Objective of the project:

  • The idea is to make gravity “disappear” by using powerful magnetic fields inside a 60cm vacuum chamber.
  • The mini-moon is about two feet in diameter and the artificial surface has been made with rocks and dust.
  • The facility is located in the eastern city of Xuzhou, in Jiangsu province.
  • Uses, applications and benefits of this facility:
    • China plans to use this research facility to test out instruments and technology in a low-gravity environment similar to that of the moon, and see whether its experiments can be successful on the lunar surface.
    • The research facility is also expected to help in determining the possibility of human settlement on the moon.

The idea to develop artificial moon facility has its roots in the Russian-born physicist Andre Geim’s experiments to levitate a frog with a magnet. The physicists later won a Nobel for this groundbreaking experiment.

  • Magnetic levitation is certainly not the same as antigravity, but there is a variety of situations where mimicking microgravity by magnetic fields could be invaluable to expect the unexpected in space research.