China is testing the ability of astronauts to stay on the moon for extended periods.
The long term goal is for Beijing to put people on the surface of the moon within the next two decades.
In order to prepare for this, students from Beijing's University of Aeronautics are starting a year-long experiment inside a simulated space cabin called "Yuegong-1", or "Lunar Palace".
The volunteers will live in the sealed lab to simulate a long-term, self-contained space mission with no input from the outside world.
China is pouring billions into its military-run space programme and working to catch up with the United States and Europe, with hopes to have a crewed outpost by 2022.
TRT World's Christine Pirovolakis reports.