Asia, India, China, Middle East, Equipment/Technology, Trends

China’s potato growing project on the moon kicks off

On Sunday, China made space history, launching a rover to the Moon. The achievement isn’t significant because of the rover’s size, but because it’s going to show us the dark side of the Moon for the very first time.

The Chang’e 4 mission is unmanned, and includes a lander and rover that blasted off on December 7, and will take about a month to get into position to land. It is expected to make a historic touchdown in the Von Kármán impact crater on January 3, 2019.

This will be the first time humanity will land anything on the dark side of the Moon. 

Aside from the usual sensors and instruments, the Chang’e 4 rover is also carrying a surprising payload: potato and mustard seeds. The rover will plant the seeds (within a a protective canister) and study any growth that occurs.

According to the mission statement, the rover will additionally use a tube to direct natural light into the canister. The idea is to study if and how photosynthesis occurs, using only the light naturally available on the Moon.

That information will be critical when setting up farms for Moon habitation. If the potatoes can grow in natural light, it means we won’t need to use a electric lamps on them.

Report by the India Times

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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