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China to grow potatoes on the Moon

The Chinese moon mission Chang E 4, which the national space program plans to launch later this year, will try to cultivate plants on the moon, including potatoes, as part of their experiments for future space colonies, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The Chang E 4, the second Chinese probe that will land on the lunar surface, will transport a small container with potato seeds and arabidopsis, a herbaceous plant, with the aim of growing them on the Moon, the report said.

The mission will also take silkworm eggs and they will record the evolution of this biological material on video to control it from Earth.

The experiment, called lunar minibiosphere, was selected among more than 200 experiments sent to the Chinese special program and was designed by 28 Chinese universities, led by the Chongqing campus.

The Chang E program (named after a goddess who according to Chinese legends lives on the moon) began with the launch of a first orbital probe in 2007, since then China has sent four devices to the moon.

The final goal of the program is a manned mission to the Moon in the long term. The date for this mission hasn't been set but some experts place it around the year 2036.


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