Earth appearing on the horizon of the moon
Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This gives an entirely new meaning to living off the land: China plans to grow potatoes on the moon, The Daily Mail reports. In addition to harvesting spuds, the country’s national space agency also wants to hatch and raise silk worms on the surface of our lovely lunar neighbor. Wow, this is kind of blowing our minds.

So, what is up with all this out-of-space farming? Is this their long-term plan to make sure there’s plenty of food to go around for all the astronauts when China lands people on the moon in 2036? Well, sort of. Apparently, it’s all a part of the China National Space Administration’s plan to construct a small ecosystem on the moon.

Scientists at Chongqing University in China built a 6.6-lb. container that houses the mini-eco-system. The Chang’e rocket 4 will transport the worms and potatoes to the moon next year, if things go according to plan.

Hmm…we’re trying to imagine this The Martian-inspired setup, and it sounds ambitious to say the least.

Obviously there are challenges of growing stuff on the moon, like its wild temperature range and maintaining a sufficient energy supply. Nevertheless, Zhang Yuanxun — who led the charge on designing the container — said the mini-ecosystem will be equipped with a layer of insulation, light pipes, and a special battery to fuel the growth of the plants and worms.

Sounds pretty cool! We hope all goes well with the project and will keep our eyes peeled (no pun intended) for the rocket’s planned launch.