China's space authorities are planning to send potato seeds to the moon to see how they do on the lunar surface, media reported Monday.
A 3-kilogram mini-ecosystem, developed by research teams led by Chongqing University, will be transported to the lunar surface by the Chang'e 4 scheduled to launch in 2018, authorities announced at this year's Global Space Exploration Conference.
In this first of its kind experiment for China, the 18-centimeter-tall cylinder will carry potato seeds and silkworm eggs to be incubated.
The theory is that silkworms will hatch and create carbon dioxide, while the potato plants will generate oxygen, explained Zhang Yuanxun, designer of the ecosystem model.
Xie Gengxin, chief designer on the project, said their mission is to prepare for future moon landings and possible human inhabitants.
"We will livestream the development of plants and insects on lunar surface to the whole world," Xie added.