Seeds just sprouted on the Moon for the first time in history

Posted January 16, 2019

A cotton seed planted by Chinese scientists on the moon has officially sprouted, marking the first time humans have successfully grown biological matter on a planet other than Earth. Once on the Moon's far side, ground control commanded the lander to water the seeds.

The video shows the craft orbiting and then descending into the Von Kármán crater which is covered in a thick layer of lunar regolith, or Moon dust.

China is now the third country to establish a presence on the moon after the United States and Russian Federation.

The experiment's chief designer, Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University, told Xinhua that life inside the canister would not survive the lander's first lunar night, which started on Sunday.

It would mean that astronauts could potentially harvest their own food in space, reducing the need to come back down to Earth to re-supply, the BBC reported.

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The mini biosphere experiment was developed by a team of scientists from Chongqing University in southwest China in collaboration with researchers from 26 domestic scientific research institutions and universities, according to Liu Hanlong, vice chancellor of the Chongqing University.

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.

Hopefully, this development will make it easier to conduct more crewed missions to the moon and beyond in the coming years.

"My firm belief is that we should integrate China into the International Space Station program".

The Chang'e 4 probe - named after the Chinese moon goddess - made the world's first soft landing on the far side of the moon on 3 January, a major step in China's ambitions to become a space superpower.

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The State Council Information Office of China (SCIO) held a press conference Monday (Jan. 14) to discuss that epic touchdown, and to give an overview of the nation's future activities on Earth's nearest neighbor.

It is popularly called the "dark side" because it can not be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.

Wu also revealed that China will send a probe to Mars around 2020.

China, in turn, shared the time and coordinates of Chang'e 4′s scheduled landing, Wu told reporters during a briefing on the lunar mission.

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