Last week, China became the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. Now, China will attempt to grow plants using a “lunar mini biosphere” on the moon’s surface. The craft, which set down last Thursday, is carrying a tin containing potato seeds, flowers, and silkworms.
The far side of the moon gets just as much sun as the side we see from Earth, according to NASA. The plants will then give off oxygen, which will help the silkworms emerge from their cocoons. The insects will produce carbon dioxide and waste, aiding the plants’ growth.
China says the experiment might help build long-term residence on the moon. One of the experiment’s biggest challenges will be combating the moon’s rough climate, with temperatures dropping from 244 degrees during the day to -298 below at night.