The system started watering the seeds after the prober landed on moon and less than a week later, green shoot already started appearing. "From a purely technical point of view, the seeds are the first living material to be deliberately grown on another planetary body, and that's a significant milestone". Among its cargo is a miniature lunar biosphere developed by scientists at Chongqing University. The six-wheeled vehicle is carrying a mini biosphere with a live potato, rapeseed and arabidopsis plants, fruit fly eggs, cotton, and some yeast.
Images sent back by the probe show a cotton plant has grown well, but so far none of the other plants had sprouted, the university said. Reports from China indicate that the cotton seeds have germinated while the lander is parked on the far side of the moon. The experiment is contained within an 18 cm, 3 kg (7 lbs.) canister designed by 28 universities in China.
All plants were chosen because they are small but hardy plants that can grow in a confined, tough environment.
China's successful lunar germination suggests "there might not be insurmountable problems for astronauts in future trying to grow their own crops on the moon in a controlled environment", Fred Watson, an astronomer-at-large with Australian Astronomical Observatory, toldthe BBC.
Still, that might well be a giant leap for mankind, since it hints at the possibility of growing food on the moon to feed astronauts on long space missions without requiring them to return to Earth for additional supplies.
VW, Ford announce alliance to build commercial vans, pickups
The medium pickup and commercial van alliance will be overseen by a joint committee including Hackett and Volkswagen CEO Dr. The two CEOs did not discuss in detail alliances in specific markets including Latin America, where Ford is losing money.
The pioneering landing highlights China's ambitions to rival the US, Russia and Europe in space through manned flights and the planned construction of a permanent space station. Yet at a news conference this week, Wu Yanhua, Deputy Director of CNSA (China National Space Administration) shared exciting news.
Explosion, gunfire at Nairobi hotel, office complex
Serge Medic, the owner of a security company who raced to the scene to help civilians, saw a severed arm in the street. People were seen being escorted away from the scene by heavily armed officers, as cars burned in a nearby parking lot.