China succeeds in growing plant on moon, creates yet another history

19 January, 2019, 08:28 | Author: Sherry Houston
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Camera IconIn this photo provided January 12, 2019, by the China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, the lunar lander of the Chang'e-4 probe is seen in a photo taken by the rover Yutu-2 on January 11, 2019.

Researchers from the Chang'e 4 mission released pictures showing a cotton plant sprouting, apparently hundreds of thousands of kilometers from Earth.

The plans underscore China's ambitions in space at a time when the United States is curtailing NASA's budget and increasingly handing over space exploration to commercial adventurers, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Pic A tiny cotton seed brought to the Moon's surface by a Chinese spacecraft has apparently just sprouted, quite possibly making it the first Earth-based plant to start growing on our rocky satellite.

The China National Space Administration is working to send a probe to the Red Planet, said Wu Yanhua, deputy chief of the agency.

Besides conducting scientific experiments, the mission named "Chang'e 4" is also meant to see whether plants could grow in a low-gravity environment and the test appears to have already showed results.

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The Moon landing, heralded as a step forward for space exploration, hopes to investigate the potential for mankind to survive away from Earth. Some have raised the question of whether the experiment risks "contaminating" the Moon, but scientists generally think this is of little concern.

China's moon rover "Chang E-4" sent to gather information on the unknown parts of the Moon will detect the temperature of the station at the time of the living on the moon during the night. By initiating this move, China aimed to build a mini eco-system on moon's far side, and interestingly, the cotton seed sprouted in the man-made habitat inside the probe.

Global discussions about sending humans to the Moon and Mars have brought many challenges waiting to be solved, and among them is food supply. An experiment to grow plants on the moon is also being carried out.

The Chang'e 4 is also the first vehicle to land on the far-side of the moon. All countries are welcome to participate in China's follow-up lunar exploration and deep space exploration projects, he said.

It could even help provide a blueprint for growing resources during a future moon colony established by humans. Some other seeds that reportedly sprouted include rapeseed and potato seeds.

Alongside them in a seven-inch bucket in the lander's cargo are rapeseed, potato and arabidopsis seeds, as well as yeast, fruit fly eggs, air and water.


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