China: Cotton seed carried to moon sprouts


It is the first time any biological matter has been grown on the celestial body.

The Chang'e 4 lander - which landed on the lunar surface on January 3 - aims to explore the geology of the far side of the moon which is invisible from the earth. A tube directs natural light on the surface of the moon into the canister to allow the plants to grow.

Planted among the cotton seeds are other biological experiments, including rapeseed and potato seeds.

Xie Gengxin, dean of Institute of Advanced Technology at Chongqing University, and the chief designer of the experiment praised the achievement on the university's blog. The series of missions will also lay the groundwork for the construction of a lunar research base, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities.

"(It) is of great significance", he concluded.

The country's first mission to Mars is scheduled for around 2020, Wu Yanhua, deputy head of China National Space Administration, said at a news conference in Beijing Monday.

China has sprouted the first seed on the Moon.

In an attempt to better understand how plants and animals could grow and live on the lunar surface, Chongqing University equipped the Chang'e 4 lander with a "mini-biosphere" experiment, which is created to be a self-sustaining ecosystem, according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua. Since the orbiting cycle of the Moon and the rotation cycle is the same, therefore only one side of the moon is visible from the earth, and most of its side can not be seen.

As for why they chose these plants specifically for the lunar experiment, Liu explained that this is part of their long-term goal of eventually building a base on the Moon.

Now, in the first ever biological experiment to take place on the moon, cotton seeds housed in a sealed container on board the Chang'e 4 lander have begun to sprout.

Also, Wu said that China is working to send a probe to the Red Planet. Chinese President Xi Jinping is in full support of China's space explorations as he repeatedly said that he has lofty ambitions to make China a space power. It successfully deployed the Jade Rabbit 2 rover and has now once again made history by sprouting the first seedling on 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".