China gears up for space farming
Tests with a controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) have shown it may be possible for Chinese astronauts to grow vegetables in gardens on extraterrestrial bases in the future.
The study was conducted at the Beijing-based Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center, with a 300 cubic meter (10,584 cubic feet) cabin that takes in carbon dioxide and provides oxygen for two people inside.
The center’s deputy director Deng Yibing said the experiment was extremely important for the long-term development of China's manned space program.
The Xinhua report added a successful CELSS station would reduce the reliance on stocks at the outset of a space mission, while advanced forms could include the breeding of animals for meat and using microbes to recycle waste.
German scientists also took part in the experiment.