Cotton seeds have reportedly just sprouted in an experiment aboard China's Chang'e 4 moon lander. While plants and flowers have grown on the International Space Station earlier too, this is the first time a seed sprouted on the Moon.
China's bold moon-exploration plans don't stop with the pioneering Chang'e 4 mission, which made the first-ever soft landing on the lunar far side on January 2.
According to Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), a primary analysis has shown that the northwestern region from the probe is relatively flat, and the probe will mainly drive to the region.
Each member of the experiment was chosen with a bioprocess goal in mind: Potato seeds represented a primary food supply for future space travelers (see also: The Martian), rapeseed could be used to produce oil, cotton seeds for clothing/supply fabric, the fruit fly would act as the consumer, and the yeast could regulate the oxygen and carbon dioxide being exchanged between the fly and the plants. The ability to grow plants open new doors for a long term space mission and points out to the possibility of astronauts to potentially produce and consume their own food.
The self-reliant biosphere housed within China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander includes a supply of air, water, and varied nutrients needed to allow the plants to grow. 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.
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There are also cases pending against two other Canadians arrested in China on charges of "endangering national security ". He said the swiftness of the proceedings was unusual but declined to comment on whether it was related to Meng's arrest .
Pictures released by the China National Space Administration released pictures showing a rocky surface with the jagged edge of craters in the background, posing a challenge for controllers in plotting the rover's travels, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Charles Cockell, a professor of astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, told Newsweek that the latest achievement is "very significant" because it shows a proof of concept for growing plants on the moon.
Once the probe landed, the Chinese space agency sent it a signal to begin watering the seeds.
The state-run China Daily said that was the first such form of cooperation since the 2011 U.S. law was enacted.
China has sprouted a cotton seed on the moon - and hopes to be growing potatoes on the dark side of Earth's neighbor within the next 100 days, it's been revealed.