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Chapter 766: 766
Jinling Institute for Advanced Study .
Director’s office .
Lu Zhou sat in front of his desk as he meticulously reviewed the documents on his desk .
Ever since he became the chief designer of the Lunar Orbit Committee, he had been extra-busy .
The entire nation’s funding for the lunar space station project was controlled by him .
In other words, the old man who served as the chairman of the committee was responsible for verifying the total amount of funds . This was based on the scientific, economic, and cultural values of the lunar orbital project . This determined how much funding the lunar orbital project would receive .
Lu Zhou, as the chief designer, was responsible for the allocation of these funds . In other words, which research and development projects these funds would be allocated to .
The entire outer space exploration plan was like a small boat sailing in the sea, and he was in the captain’s position . If he were to make a mistake, the entire boat could sink .
Therefore, even though he wasn’t interested in these financial matters, he had to patiently read every document in its entirety . He identified the more reliable projects and signed his name on them .
Lu Zhou was thinking about a report on the technical feasibility of lunar mining equipment when he heard the door knock .
Lu Zhou put down his pen and looked at the door . He then cleared his throat and said, “Come in . ”
The door was pushed open, and a young female assistant in business attire walked in while holding a stack of documents .
“Professor, these are the documents from China Agricultural University and the China National Space Administration . ”
Lu Zhou nodded and replied, “Got it, just place it on the desk . ”
“Okay . ” The female assistant nodded and placed the documents on the corner of the desk . She then asked in a soft voice, “Is there anything else I can do?”
“Get me a cup of coffee, please . ”
The young female assistant nodded and walked toward the water dispenser . Soon, she brought over a cup of instant mocha and quietly left the office .
Lu Zhou sipped his coffee as he flipped through the two new documents .
Generally speaking, these documents were good news . Especially the one from the China National Space Administration . They praised Jinling Institute for Advanced Study for their outstanding contribution to the lunar orbit space station project .
The successful deployment of the Moon Palace’s core module gave China an advantage to explore lunar resources while giving China international respect .
Also contained in this document was the concept map from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation of the first phase of the space station, as well as the schedule of the remaining space station components .
Lu Zhou was going to discuss with the Lunar Orbit Committee to determine the launch timetable of the unity module, energy module, experimental module, work module, and other space station components .
Not only was this good news for the Moon Palace, but there was also good news from the Dzoosotoyn Elisen Desert .
A month ago, while Lu Zhou was still busy with the Moon Palace, the first phase of the Garden project was complete . With Professor Hu Yang leading the project, Biosphere A had gone into operation .
So far, Biosphere A had successfully been operating for one month . In this month, the volunteers enclosed in the artificial biosphere successfully achieved their expected goals . They had been living with limited amounts of water and other resources .
“Closed system life support technology” was one of the most important technologies for colonizing the Moon or even Mars; it was also an important component of the lunar orbit project .
The United States once dominated this field with its “Biosphere 2” experiment . The life support system on the Ares was an embodiment of their Biosphere 2 technology .
If China planned to colonize the Moon or even distant planets, they had to unlock this part of aerospace technology .
After seeing Professor Hu’s report, Lu Zhou had a satisfied look on his face .
If everything went well, China might be able to send their colonists to the surface of the Moon by next year .
He heard knocking sounds at his door again .
Lu Zhou put down the document in his hand and looked at the door .
“Come in . ”
Hou Guang, the director of the Aerospace Science and Technology Institute, opened the door and quickly walked in . Before Lu Zhou could ask what happened, he spoke first .
“Good news and bad news, which one do you want first?”
Seeing how serious Hou Guang seemed, Lu Zhou paused for a second and replied with a smile .
He then said nonchalantly, “Let’s… start with the good news . ”
Hou Guang: “Good news is that the plant growth unit we deployed on the moon has successfully harvested the first batch of potatoes!”
Lu Zhou had a surprised look on his face .
“Already? This soon?”
Even though he had never planted any potatoes before, he heard that potatoes generally take three months to harvest .
It had been less than two months since the deployment of the plant growth unit, so he was quite amazed by the progress .
Hou Guang smiled and said, “It’s alright . We improved the potato seeds, not to mention the plant growth unit was able to keep the environment at a maximum growth temperature, so two months is not that fast . ”
The cost of the potatoes grown in space was undoubtedly more expensive than potatoes grown on Earth .
But even then, because of the astronomical launch costs, the cost of growing food on the moon was much cheaper than launching the food from Earth .
Also, growing food on the Moon meant self-sufficiency…
“This is indeed good news . ” Lu Zhou paused for a second and asked, “What’s the bad news then?”
“Bad news is that we received news this morning…” Hou Guang took a deep breath and said, “The BFR rocket launched by Space-X last month has landed on Mars at 13:00 Beijing time today . ”
They already landed?!
Lu Zhou sat up straight in his office chair, and he immediately asked, “How was the landing?”
Hou Guang looked at him and replied, “Apparently… it was successful . ”
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