China Sprouts First-Ever Plants on the Moon's Surface

China Sprouts First-Ever Plants on the Moon's Surface

The germination of the cotton seeds alone has not yet been determined or specified by China's space agency, the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

After Chang'e-4 landed on the far side of the Moon on January 3, the ground control centre instructed the probe to water the plants to start the growing process.

If the sprouts thrive they would form the first ever green leaves on the moon - however it is not clear whether they would develop beyond germination.

The state-run China Daily said that was the first such form of cooperation since the 2011 USA law was enacted.

China's The Long March 3B rocket, transporting the Chang'e-4 lunar rover in December. Chongqing University calls the experiment a "lunar mini biosphere".

He said cotton could eventually be used for clothing while the potatoes could be a food source for astronauts and the rapeseed for oil.

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Alongside the cotton seeds were those to grow potatoes, yeast, rapeseed, and other plants, scientists at Chongqing University who led the mission said, adding that those would provide oxygen and food for other living things to consume.

The tiny plant is sheltered from temperatures as low as -100C inside the Yutu 2 spacecraft.

"We have given consideration to future survival in space", professor Xie Gengxin, the experiment's chief designer, told the South China Morning Post. The moon's nighttime period lasts for about two Earth weeks.

According to Wu, Chang'e 6 will be on a mission to collect samples from the Moon's South pole and later missions will be created to conduct surveys of the surrounding area. The lander is in sleep mode during the lunar night.

The moon Sunday night will be the first in a series of three full supermoons, which is when a full or new moon is at or near its closest approach to earth in its orbit, or perigee, according to EarthSky. As well as being "humankind's first biological experiment on the moon", it's an encouraging development for our ambition to send humans to Mars. We could probably make some nice sweaters from moon-grown cotton.

According to a Xinhua report on Tuesday, researchers believe that the mini biosphere is an important first step in learning how to feed astronauts on future long-term mission missions to the moon, Mars and beyond.

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