According to ZHANG Yuanxun, an engineering researcher at the Center of Space Exploration at Chongqing University, China’s Chang’e 4 lunar probe scheduled for 2018 will carry a 3-kilogram “moon-surface mini ecosphere” of 16 cm diameter and 18 cm height. Made of a special aluminum alloy, the probe will carry silkworm eggs, seeds from potatoes and cress, as well as water, soil, air and scientific research tools. Natural light on the surface of the moon will be carried into the vessel through light pipes to assist the growth of the plants inside. The sprouting and blooming of the plants and the incubation of the silkworm eggs will be live-streamed to people all over the world using cameras inside the vessel.

CAS news release, June 15, 2017