February 21, 2019

First life to sprout on the Moon is already dead

18 January 2019, 03:15 | Edward Lowe

First life to sprout on the Moon is already dead

First life to sprout on the Moon is already dead

Before China finished packing up its Chang'e 4 lunar lander to be blasted off on a never-before-accomplished journey to the far side of the moon, scientists slipped in a small tank holding plant seeds.

China is relishing in the success of landing a lunar rover on the far side of the moon. China's self-contained miniature biosphere includes seeds for plants like cotton, potatoes, rapeseed, and yeast, along with fruit fly eggs.

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.

Images released by the CNSA now appear to show cotton seeds sprouting, in what the ruling Communist Party's official mouthpiece, The People's Daily, labelled a "first in human history".

China's Chang'e 4 Mission Sprouts First Plant On The Moon
Seeds taken to the moon on China's Chang'e-4 mission have begun to sprout , according to the China National Space Administration. Researcher Xie Gengxin said , 'This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface'.

"This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface", said Xie Gengxin, who led the design of the experiment. "After its landing, we discovered large craters with a diameter of more than 10 metres on both the southern and northern sides of the probe, and it successfully avoided them", Sun said.

With an annual space budget of $8bn, second only to the US, China is also looking to send a probe to the red planet by the end of this decade and build its own space station by 2022.

Like this story? Share it with a friend! The experiment also contained potato and oilseed rape seeds. The China National Space Administration is the Chinese equivalent of NASA.

"This is the first-ever exploration on the surface of the far side of the moon".

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The Chang'e-4 biosphere experiment which produced the sprouting of cotton seeds on the far side of the Moon has ended, according to scientists involved in the pioneering test. Fruit flies, they added, "as consumers, and yeast, as decomposers, would generate carbon dioxide by consuming oxygen for photosynthesis of plants".

"We had no such experience (growing plants on the moon) before".

The deputy director of China's space agency, Wu Yanhua, said that the Chang'e-4 mission marked a turning point for Chinese space exploration.

While China has insisted its ambitions are purely peaceful, the U.S. Defense Department has accused it of pursuing activities aiming to prevent other nations from using space-based assets during a crisis.

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