Cotton seeds sprouted on the moon, the first time in human history that anything has been grown on the moon. Cotton seeds brought onboard China’s Chang’e-4 mission sprouted the first stage of the biological test load project.
The cotton sprouts are in a self-sustained biosphere with potato seeds, oilseed, cotton, rockcress, fruit flies and yeast. The plants will generate oxygen and food for the flies and the yeast. The fruit flies serve as consumers, and yeast as a decomposer, both will generate carbon dioxide for the plants. The yeast will decompose the waste of plants and fruit flies and grow, and can also serve as food for the flies.
The rover will have to make changes to maintain the environmental conditions and keep the interior consistent. This represents a major milestone in space exploration, suggesting that humans have a realistic chance of growing plants on missions to use for food and other resources. We aren’t at space farms yet, but now they’re on the horizon.
Image From Chonqqing University (Ground tank, January 12, 2019, day 9, main camera, 212h after water injection)