Like something out of a science fiction movie, this week news about the development of a artificial moon, manufactured by the Chinese government.
The news was replicated in all the world’s media, but most readers did not fully understand the reason behind this innovation.
Below we tell you the details of this peculiar scientific development, which could help space exploration and revolutionize it in more than one way.
The Chinese artificial moon
When it was announced that China had developed a “artificial moon“Some unsuspecting people thought that it was a kind of spacecraft that would replicate the appearance of our satellite.
While Chinese technology isn’t exactly that, it’s more impressive than you might think.
In reality, it is a scientific research facility, within its walls the last details are being given to a kind of small simulator that can replicate the physical and climatic conditions of the Moon.
That is to say, it is a small device conditioned to simulate the conditions of the Moon. Although it sounds less impressive than a “False Moon”, it is more important than you think.
First, develop the technology that simulates the low-gravity environment lunar is not easy.
To achieve this, Chinese scientists developed magnetic field technology, under the same principles that 25 years ago had allowed levitate a frog in the UK.
In the 1997 experiment, magnets were used to balance the frog’s gravity, allowing it to levitate with a stable balance.
Getting to do the same with a small laboratory is not easy, and it required a lot of effort, technology and money.
The technology that will allow this Chinese innovation to work was developed in 1997 by the British scientist Andre Geim, in the aforementioned floating frog experiment.
At the time, because of the curious thing about levitating a frog, Geim won the I.G. Nobel of that year, the prizes that are given to the most ridiculous inventions.
Geim’s frog levitation was made possible by the principles of diamagnetic levitation.
It is a type of levitation that is achieved by applying an external magnetic field to the atoms of an object.
With this, the electrons modify their movement, producing their own magnetic field to oppose the external one.
Normally it is achieved with the help of magnets, which have to be strong enough so that the magnetic force of repulsion between it and the field of atoms “overcomes” gravity and allows the object to levitate.
Interestingly, for his studies on graphene, Gim won the award Physics Nobel -now the real one- in 2010.
In accordance with local media, the Chinese artificial Moon will levitate this year in Xuzhou, in the province of Jiangsu.
Thanks to its technology based on magnetism, it will be possible to replicate the conditions of the Moon in a 60 cm vacuum chamber.
If all goes well, the camera will be able to float indefinitely, allowing it to be filled with rocks and dust to mimic the lunar surface.
Now, what is this for? artificial moon? China plans to launch a manned mission to the Moon, including building a permanent base on our satellite.
This ambitious plan needs, to be achieved, a lot of technology that is currently being developed, and Chinese specialists think that it is better to test their technology before launching their missions.
That is, the artificial moon It will serve to test the technology that Chinese scientists are developing, in low gravity environments practically equal to that of the Moon.
Specialists will be able to see first-hand how materials deform in the conditions of the Moon, as well as their resistance time.
The idea is to take advantage of this Moon false to avoid problems, and to be able to test the technology that is currently under development without too much expense and with much greater control.
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