China plans to build manned ‘lunar palace’ powered by the sun

China has announced plans to build a manned moon base which will explore lunar resources and act as a launchpad for missions to Mars.

The lunar outpost is expected to have "multiple tube cabins that interconnect and provide oxygen to people inside", according to a video seen by Chinese media.

The "scientific research" base, which will be partly sustained by solar power, marks the latest step in an ambitious space programme that is being spearheaded by Beijing.

"We believe that the Chinese nation’s dream of residing in a ‘lunar palace’ will soon become a reality," China’s National Space Administration said in video which outlines the plans, the China Daily said.

The newspaper said it was the first time that China had made public plans for a lunar outpost.

In April last year, a Chinese space official said Beijing was discussing a future moon outpost with the European Space Agency, but few details later emerged.

Space watchers believe China aims to land a man on the moon sometime after 2030Credit:

In November, administration officials said that China "is conducting a feasibility study for a robotic outpost on the lunar surface to conduct scientific research and technological experiments," the China Daily added. No schedule for the construction of the new base were revealed, or details on how it would be operated.

China is send a lunar probe to the far side of the moon later this year.

The mission will also involve an ambitious experiment which scientist hope will see flowers, potatoes and silkworms being grown on the lunar surface.

China became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket in 2003 and it carried out a lunar rover mission ten years later.

Space watchers believe China aims to land a man on the moon sometime after 2030, while last year an official said that it would “not take long” before Beijing approved a manned lunar project.

Additional reporting by Christine Wei

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