THERE ARE PLANTS AND ANIMALS ON THE MOON NOW (BECAUSE OF CHINA)
China’s Chang’e-4 lander touched down on the far side of the moon (Jan. 3 Beijing time, Jan. 2 US), and it’s got some living things on board.
A small “tin” in the lander contains seeds of potatoes and rockcress (Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, as well as a model organism for plant biology), as well as silkworm eggs. The idea, according to a report in The Telegraph earlier this year, is that the plants will support the silkworms with oxygen, and the silkworms will, in turn, provide the plants with necessary carbon dioxide and nutrients through their waste. The researchers will watch the plants carefully to see whether the plants successfully perform photosynthesis, and grow and bloom in the lunar environment.