Chinese scientists are building a research facility that simulates the low-gravity environment on the moon.
According to the South China Morning Post, the simulator is expected to be built in a few months and will be used by researchers to test equipment or tools that may perform differently in low-light environments. The facility will consist of a vacuum chamber that will include the artificial moon with a diameter of 60 cm. The artificial moon may be much smaller than the real moon, but it will still provide the opportunity for researchers and engineers to experiment. Gravity will be simulated with a strong magnetic field.
"Some experiments such as an impact test need just a few seconds [in the simulator]. But others such as creep testing can take several days." Li Ruilin, a geotechnical engineer at the China University of Mining and Technology, told the South China Morning Post.