Beijing (June 17, 2017): For the first time in history, Chinese scientists are planning to grow potatoes and raise worms on the moon.
A 3 kilogram mini-ecosystem container developed by research teams led by Chongqing University would be transported to the moon’s surface by the “Change- 4” mission, that would be launched in 2018, authorities revealed last week.
“The container will send potatoes, arabidopsis seeds and silkworm eggs to the surface of the moon. The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the Moon,” said Zhang Yuanxun, chief designer of the container.
Zhang said that for China’s ambitions to grow crops on the moon, temperature control and energy supply were the biggest challenges faced in setting up an ecosystem there.
While the project’s chief designer Xie Gengxin said their mission was to prepare for future moon landings and possible human inhabitants.