19 Aug, 2018

Chinese scientists to grow potatoes on the moon

According to a report in the Chongqing Morning Post, the potatoes will be sealed inside a “mini ecosystem” as part the Chang’e-4 mission due to launch next year. They’ll be sharing a small cylinder on the surface of the Earth’s only natural satellite with silkworm larvae as part of a series of experiments, Professor Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University told the paper.

Chief designer Dr Zhang Yuanxun said: ‘The container will send potatoes, Arabidopsis (cress) seeds and silkworm eggs to the surface of the moon.

‘The eggs will hatch into silkworms (moth larvae), which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the moon.’

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