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Four Chinese volunteers end 180-day human space survival experiment
   2016-12-14 20:42:24    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Jing

Four Chinese volunteers end 180-day human space survival experiment on December 14, 2016, in Shenzhen. [Photo: Chinanews.com]

Four Chinese volunteers have completed a 180-day human space survival experiment.

The four scientists -- three men and one woman -- had been living inside a sealed capsule in south China's Shenzhen since June 17 and emerged on Wednesday morning.

They will receive medical checks and data collection will also continue inside the capsule over the next month to ensure the credibility of the data.

The experiment was designed to determine how well food, water, and oxygen can be used and recycled under controlled conditions.

The test of the "controlled ecological life support system" was inspired by technology currently used in China's Shenzhou spacecraft.

The sealed capsule has floor space of 370 square meters and is divided into eight compartments, including living quarters, space for storage and the greenhouse.

The volunteers cultivated 25 different kinds of plants inside the capsule, including wheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, soybeans, peanuts, lettuce, edible amaranth and Chinese cabbage.

The plants are part of a larger ecological system that helps recycle and regenerate oxygen and water, and will reduce the dependency on outside supplies.

Team doctor Tong Feizhou says they're trying to ultimately create a balance where a sealed pod could eventually become self-sustaining.

Outside of the sealed capsule, other scientists are also monitoring and observing how a hermetic environment affects people's physiological health, biological rhythms, sleep patterns and psychological health.

As one might expect, the results of the experiment are considered critical to determining the viability of long-term space travel.

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