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After potato tubers survived Mars conditions, potato seeds will be tested on the Moon
As part of their Lunar exploration in 2018, Chinese scientists will take an 18x16 cm cylinder to the surface of the moon and see if potato seeds can grow there.
The experiment is carried out in a "mini ecosystem on the moon's surface" contained in an 18x16 cm cylinder and will be led by researchers of the Chongqing University, according to the Chongqing Morning Post.
The cylinder is due to be put on the moon's surface as part the Chang'e-4 mission in 2018, according to Professor Xie Gengxin, head designer of the project.
Chinese scientists conduct experiments on the cultivation of potato seeds (Courtesy: 163.com)
The goal is to determine whether the potatoes can grow on the moon, and whether the insects can survive.
If they can, this will be major step toward ultimately putting a fully-functioning human colony on Mars.
The project stood out from the 257 experimental ideas put forward to China's lunar exploration program.
Scientists and researchers from 28 different universities in China are now working on designing the hardware needed to carry out the various tests.
Earlier this year, researchers at the International Potato Center have grown a potato plant from a tuber under mars-like conditions (More on this experiment)