China plans to grow flowers, silkworms on moon


BEIJING, Apr 15 (TNS):  Chinese experts in an ongoing conference on scientific and technological innovation of Chongqing Municipality in China s Chongqing University have developed a special laboratory to grow flowers and silkworms on the moon, which would be taken to the moon by the end of this year.

According to Chinese media reports, Beijing hopes to create a  mini biosphere  on the dark side of the Moon, with flowers and silkworms sustaining each other as they grow on the lifeless lunar surface. The unprecedented plan to create life in outer space is the most intriguing part of China s lunar probe mission later this year, and could be a major boost for dreams that humans will one day live on the Moon. The insects, plants, potato seeds and arabidopsis a small flowering plant belonging to the mustard family – will be taken to the Moon on board the Chang e-4 lander and rover in December. They will be placed in an 18cm tall bucket-like tin made from special aluminum alloy materials, together with water, a nutrient solution, and a small camera and data transmission system.

A small tube will direct natural sunlight into the tin to help the plants and potato seeds grow. Although known figuratively as the “dark side” as it is unseen, the far side of the moon receives almost equal sunlight to the near side. The next stage of the mini-econlogical system will see the plants emitting oxygen, which will feed the silkworms hatching from their cocoons. The silkworms will them create carbon dioxide and produce waste that will allow the plants to grow, Chinese scientists say…….AFP