GoogleEarth community members have spotted a strange installation by the remoteChinese village of Huangyangtan. A 800x700 meter scale model of a mountainouslandscape has been created right next to a military base.
It turns out that thisscale model corresponds to a 450x350 kilometer piece of real estate located ina disputed area along the Chinese/Indian border. The Indian authorities callthis area Aksayqin Hu, not far from K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth,in the Himalayan range.
It is speculated that thisscale model is being used by Chinese military planners. If you want to trainpilots to work in a particular area that is off-limits, create a model thatallows them to practice.
NASA used exactly the sametechnique in the 1960's to train the pilots-turned-astronauts who were to landon the moon.
Once the probable landingsite in the Sea of Tranquility was selected, NASA geologists went to thevolcanic mountain range in Arizona. There, they carefully measured thelocations of each crater, and used explosives to create an exact scale model ofthe landing area.
Astronauts first walked thesite, then flew over the site at a few hundred feet in a small Cessna. Finally,they overflew the site in a T-38 jet at 25,000 feet to simulate what can beseen from lunar orbit (at matching speed).
Other unusual NASA-relatednews:
- Lunar Liquid Mirror Telescope Studied By NASA
- Crustaceans Help Build NASA's Exploration Skills
- Star Trek 'Tricorder' Ready For Mars Rover This Year
(This Science Fiction inthe News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction.)