Seeds and insect eggs will be stored in a special container on China's next mission to the Moon, the Chang'e 4, which will take off in 2018.
Made with a special aluminum alloy, this container aspires to demonstrate the growth process of plants and animals on the moon. Specially designed batteries with high energy density will also be installed in the container to provide a power supply.
With this experiment of cementation of an ecosystem on the Moon, then, China also intends to abound in knowledge on the future establishment of ecological bases on other planets.
Temperature control and energy supply are the biggest challenges for establishing an ecosystem on the Moon. As he explains Zhang Yuanxun, container design manager:
The package will send potatoes, arabidopsis seeds and silkworm eggs to the surface of the Moon. Eggs hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the Moon.
The container is 18 centimeters long and weighs 3 kilograms, and is made up of more than 100 components.