A few days back, Chinese Space Agency's 'Chang'e-4' made a soft landing on the far side of Moon.
Self-sustaining habitable environments for off-planet travel have been part of scientific research for decades, including a famous large-scale experiment conducted nearly 30 years ago called Biosphere 2 (Earth is Biosphere 1).
Weighing below three kilograms, the test payload includes six organisms including seeds of cotton, potatoes, Arabidopsis and rapeseeds, as well as fruit fly pupa and yeast.
Xie Gengxin, dean of Institute of Advanced Technology at Chongqing University, and the chief designer of the experiment praised the achievement on the university's blog.
While the cotton seeds were the first to pop through, rapeseed and potato seeds have also begun to sprout, with those images expected to be released in the coming weeks. The Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, The People's Daily hailed the achievement as "humankind's first biological experiment on the moon".
"(It) is of great significance", he concluded. It touched down on the surface of the moon on 3rd January. The seeds and eggs were kept dormant until their lunar arrival, after which time they were watered by the lander.
"From the images sent back from Chang'e 4, we can see the area surrounding the probe is dotted with craters of different sizes, and it's very hard for the rover to drive in the region", explained Sun Zezhou, chief designer of the Chang'e 4 probe, according to Xinhua. With the ability to grow edible plants, astronauts could grow and harvest their own food, enabling long-term habitation.
Also, Wu said that China is working to send a probe to the Red Planet.
Both the lander and the rover entered a "sleep mode" on Sunday as the first lunar night after the probe's landing fell, Wu said.
'Our overall goal is that, by around 2030, China will be among the major space powers of the world, ' he said.