[FPSPACE] The Long Game: China Seeks to Transfer Its Silk Industry to Far Side of the Moon

David R. Woods drwoods at stny.rr.com
Sun Apr 22 11:25:59 EDT 2018

China's Chang'e 4 moon mission, planned to launch in June, will include 
experiments designed to create a small self-sustaining biosphere between 
silkworms and potato plants, as carbon dioxide from the worms will feed 
the plants and oxygen given off by the plants will encourage the 
critters to thrive as well.

As well as carrying multiple devices to study - among the many celestial 
phenomena - cosmic rays and the solar corona, the lander will also carry 
a little box containing water, a nutrient solution, a data transmission 
system and a small camera to record the progress of living creatures 
eking out their subsistence on the moon.

In the course of the unprecedented experiment, sunlight flooding the 
lunar landscape will be directed inside a box to trigger the growth of 
plants and seeds. The oxygen released by the growing plants - it is 
hoped - will cause the silkworms to hatch from their cocoons. The little 
creatures will, in turn, emit carbon-dioxide and waste, and voila! a 
cycle of life on an alien environment will be observed, according to 
Chinese scientists.


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