Friday, 26 April, 2019


A cotton seed sprouted - and died - on China’s Lunar Lander

The Chang'e-4 probe carried the seeds of cotton rape potato and arabidopsis as well as eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast to form a simple mini biosphere A cotton seed sprouted - and died - on China’s Lunar Lander
Kristine Garrett | 19 January, 2019, 08:29

The China National Space Administration stated that the cotton seeds brought to the Moon by the Chang'e 4 probe have sprouted.

"We have given consideration to future survival in space", he said.

The first ever plants have sprouted on the moon, after China's Chang'e-4 mission carried cotton seeds to the "dark side", facing away from Earth.

Along with cotton, five other species-seeds of rapeseed, potato and Arabidopsis, fruit fly eggs and yeast-were also aboard, but neither images nor clear reports on these have been released.

It is hoped the experiment will pave the way for long-term space exploration and provide astronauts with the means to grown their own crops, à la Damon.

The tasks of the Chang'e-4 include astronomical observation, surveying the moon's terrain and mineral makeup and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment of its far side. Three successive missions will further explore the barren surface of the moon and test equipment for an global lunar research base. - China will seek to establish an worldwide lunar base one day, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said on January 14, weeks after landing the rover on the moon's far side.

Late on January 3, China's newest lunar rover - nicknamed the Jade Rabbit - rolled off its lunar lander and onto the far side of the moon. China's space agency says it worked with NASA to collect data from the far side of the moon.

"We will use the Chang'e-8 to test certain technologies and do some preliminary exploration for jointly building a research base on the moon", Wu said.

Earlier this month, China became the first country in the world to successfully land a lunar probe, Chang'e-4, on the far side of the Moon.

"In addition, the yeast can decompose the waste of plants and drosophila melanogaster and grow, and can also serve as food of drosophila melanogaster". Meanwhile, sprouts in an Earth-based control experiment were shown to be evidently performing much better.

The seeds and eggs were kept dormant as the probe traveled through space.

Cotton grown on the moon could someday be used to make clothing and the potatoes could be a food source, Watson said, especially as a pit stop on trips to Mars.

"This has achieved the first biological experiment on the moon of human history, to sprout the first bud on the desolate moon", Xie said in a university blog.

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