The Tianzhou-1 will fuel the Tiangong-2 space lab and will carry out experiments in space. But what exactly are these experiments, and how will they affect our lives?
Apart from being the deliveryman to China’s space lab in orbit, China’s first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 will carry out several experiments -- experiments that can affect our future.
"We want to observe the proliferation and differentiation of human bone cells that have been genetically edited under micro-gravity circumstances, so that we can find a cure to the rarefaction of bones," Li Xuzhi, deputy chief designer of Space Application System of China Maanned Space Mission, said.
China has over 120 million hepatitis B virus carriers.The diseases kills over 500-thousand people in the country every year. A cure has yet to be found, but the solution may lie in space.
"China was at the top of the list of countries that have the most patients with liver disease. For those waiting for a liver transplant, it’s very hard to find a donor. We hope to find a way to solve the rejection of transplants via stem cell research in space," Li said.
You may have seen the famous Hollywood movie The Martian starring Matt Damon. Space immigration as depicted in the film may not seem too far now. China has already done some research on that, including making babies while traveling in space.
"Another research area is to observe the process of embryonic stem cells’ differentiation into germ stem cells in space. This is for the long-term goal of space immigration. During space travel, which is measured by light years, we have to figure out a feasible way of human reproduction," Li said.
Space exploration may seem remote and irrelevant to daily life, but through advances in research, experts say it could one day benefit everyone.