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China Launches Its Space Environment Simulator

China announced the launch of its Space Environment and Research Infrastructure (SESRI), a “ground space station” in Harbin, the home of the Harbin Institute of Technology, reports South China Morning Post. In the construction park are four experimental buildings: the space comprehensive environmental experimental building, the space plasma science experimental building, the space magnetic environment science experimental building, and an animal breeding facility. The multi-component facility covers an area equivalent to 50 football fields and can simulate a wide range of conditions to help scientists understand their impacts on spacecraft performance and human health.

The facility’s main mission is to support the safe operation of Chinese spacecraft and long-term human presence in space, said Li Liyi, the project’s deputy commander-in-chief. “It’s also open to the global scientific community to conduct related basic research.” More than 110 universities and institutes from more than 30 countries had signed agreements to use the platform, Li told Xinhua in June.

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