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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday June 15 2017, @05:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the lunar-tater-tots dept.

China plans to send a 3 kg miniature ecosystem biosphere to the surface of the moon by using Chang'e 4 mission, incorporating a robotic lander and rover. When it departs in 2018.

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, says Zhang Yuanxun, chief designer of the container.

[...] Suitable temperature for plants and insects to survive and thrive is between +1 .. +30 ⁰C. But the moon's surface temperature ranges between -170 ⁰C at night to +120 ⁰C in the day. To get around this problem, the container will be equipped with a[n] insulation layer and light pipes to ensure the growth of the plants and insects inside. Specially designed batteries will be used to provide a consistent energy supply.

[...] The whole event with the development of plants and insects on lunar surface will be live-streamed to the world, says the project's chief designer Xie [Gengxin].

Meanwhile researchers at the International potato center (CIP) and UTEC, Peru technical university in Lima, investigates if it's possible to grow potato on the planet Mars.

In the future all you base are owned by China?


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15 2017, @02:01PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15 2017, @02:01PM (#526008)

    We don't care about contaminating extraterrestrial bodies anymore?

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  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday June 15 2017, @03:18PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday June 15 2017, @03:18PM (#526053)

    Who's "we"?

    Some of you may worry about "contaminating" a lifeless rock, but obviously the Chinese are more worried about getting stuff done.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15 2017, @04:52PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15 2017, @04:52PM (#526088)

    Why exactly were we worrying about that?

    I mean if the mission is to look for life, you dont want to bring any signs of it with you, but thats not the end all be all. We hope to live up there someday, that will mean we have to import some stuff first.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Thursday June 15 2017, @05:49PM (1 child)

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday June 15 2017, @05:49PM (#526108)

      I'm almost done setting the thrusters under the Capitol building.
      Going up: Over 500 specialists in the fine art of generating and stirring up shit, hot air, and wind. Also committed to unlimited CO2 emissions.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 16 2017, @05:47AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 16 2017, @05:47AM (#526320) Journal

        No need for propellant then. Hot gas generators are already present ;-)

  • (Score: 2) by its_gonna_be_yuge! on Thursday June 15 2017, @05:51PM

    by its_gonna_be_yuge! (6454) on Thursday June 15 2017, @05:51PM (#526110)

    We don't care about contaminating extraterrestrial bodies anymore?

    Certainly the president has no qualms about contaminating terrestrial bodies. Extraterrestrial is just more pussy to grab for the head potato.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15 2017, @11:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15 2017, @11:05PM (#526243)

    Because it has no atmosphere, it cannot sustain life unless that life brings its own ecosystem.

    That's called a terrarium. [google.com]
    Properly done, those are a sealed environment where there is a perfect balance between oxygen-consuming organisms and carbon dioxide-consuming organisms.

    N.B. If it's not sealed, it's just a "planter" and that wouldn't work on the moon.

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 16 2017, @04:46AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 16 2017, @04:46AM (#526314)

    Only insightful to people to stupid to understand the summary even.

    They aren't just flying by and dumping a bunch of potatoes on the moon.