This project is an interesting foray into the circular economy. It prompts us to see the Earth as a giant spaceship, floating in the cosmos with finite life-sustaining resources. How can we manage these resources as if we were living in a closed capsule?
In China's heavy-handed push to contain the pollution crisis and bolster green finance, how might the findings from this experiment surface new gamechanging technologies, inspired by space, to advance sustainable approaches to resource use on earth?
Experiments of this sort are not new. From 1991 to 1993, a team of eight lived inside Biosphere 2, a 3.15 acre closed system laboratory for the study of global ecology. They grew 81% of their food, and recycled their air, water and wastes with ecological engineered systems. The project was a landmark study of our planet's biosphere and closed system technologies for both earth and space. Today the second space race takes such habitat research to the next level with the lure of space commercialization, and the ambition of sustaining the human race by becoming a space-faring civilisation.
Regionally, China is vying with Japan to shape Asia's approach to outer space. China has been ramping up its space exploration efforts in recent years, with its sight set on sending humans to the Moon in the near future, and perhaps Mars too. Does this capsule experiment inch them one step ahead in the global space race?