Seeds taken up to the Moon by China's Chang'e-4 mission have sprouted, says China National Space Administration.

It marks the first time any biological matter has grown on the Moon, and is being seen as a significant step towards long-term space exploration.

The Chang'e 4 is the first mission to land on and explore the Moon's far side, facing away from Earth.

It touched down on 3 January, carrying instruments to analyse the region's geology.

Plants have been grown on the International Space Station before but never on the Moon.

The ability to grow plants on the Moon will be integral for long-term space missions, like a trip to Mars which would take about two-and-a-half years.

It would mean that astronauts could potentially harvest their own food in space, reducing the need to come back down to Earth to resupply.

Close-up photo of the seed sprouting under a protective cover

Seeds taken up to the Moon by China's Chang'e-4 mission have sprouted, says China National Space Administration.

It marks the first time any biological matter has grown on the Moon, and is being seen as a significant step towards long-term space exploration.

The Chang'e 4 is the first mission to land on and explore the Moon's far side, facing away from Earth.

It touched down on 3 January, carrying instruments to analyze the region's geology.

Plants have been grown on the International Space Station before but never on the Moon.

The ability to grow plants on the Moon will be integral for long-term space missions, like a trip to Mars which would take about two-and-a-half years.

It would mean that astronauts could potentially harvest their own food in space, reducing the need to come back down to Earth to resupply.

rover

The Chinese Moon lander was carrying among its cargo soil containing cotton and potato seeds, yeast and fruit fly eggs.

The plants are in a sealed container on board the lander. The crops will try to form a mini biosphere - an artificial, self-sustaining environment.

Will the Moon be contaminated?

By Paul Rincon, Science editor, BBC News website

The lunar mini biosphere experiment on the Chang'e-4 lander is designed to test photosynthesis and respiration - processes in living organisms that result in the production of energy. The whole experiment is contained within an 18cm tall, 3kg canister that was designed by 28 Chinese universities.

The organisms inside have a supply of air, water and nutrients to help them grow. But one of the challenges, say Chinese scientists, is to keep the temperature favorable for growth when conditions on the Moon swing wildly between -173C and 100C or more.

They also have to control the humidity and nutrients. Some have raised the question of whether the experiment risks "contaminating" the Moon with biological material, but scientists generally think this is of little concern. And it's worth reiterating that there are already containers of human waste on the Moon left behind by the Apollo astronauts.

On Tuesday, Chinese state media said the cotton seeds had now grown buds.

The ruling Communist Party's official mouthpiece the People's Daily tweeted an image of the sprouted seed, saying it marked "the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the Moon".

Fred Watson, Australian Astronomical Observatory's astronomer-at-large, told the BBC the development was "good news".

"It suggests that there might not be insurmountable problems for astronauts in future trying to grow their own crops on the moon in a controlled environment."

Chang'e-4 landerImage copyright CLEP
Image caption Seeds in the Chang'e-4 have begun sprouting after landing on the moon

"I think there's certainly a great deal of interest in using the Moon as staging post, particularly for flights to Mars, because it's relatively near the Earth," Mr Watson said.

Prof Xie Gengxin, the experiment's chief designer, was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post: "We have given consideration to future survival in space.

"Learning about these plants' growth in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of space base."

He said cotton could eventually be used for clothing while the potatoes could be a food source for astronauts and the rapeseed for oil.

China's Xinhua news agency said that the seeds were rendered dormant using "biological technology" during the 20-day journey from Earth to the Moon.

They only began growing once ground control center sent a command to the probe to water the seeds.

Xinhua said the probe had taken about 170 pictures so far which have been sent back to Earth.

On Friday, the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) released several images taken by the probe including panoramic images of the landing site as well as video of the vehicles touching down.

Views: 63

Have questions?

Need help? Visit our Support Group for help from our friendly Admins and members!

Have you?

Become a Member
Invited Your Friends
Made new Friends
Read/ Written a Blog
Joined/ Created a Group
Read/ Posted a Discussion
Checked out the Chat
Looked at/Posted Videos
Made a donation this month
Followed us on Twitter
Followed us on Facebook

Donations & Sponsorship

~~~~~~~~~~~
Please consider a donation to help with our continued growth and site costs

Connect

Visit The Temple
on Facebook:

....

Blog Posts

The 3lair Witch Project

Posted by Quingu on November 27, 2022 at 3:30pm 0 Comments

The New Moon

Posted by Quingu on November 23, 2022 at 6:00am 0 Comments

The Green Kingú

Posted by Quingu on November 18, 2022 at 8:00am 0 Comments

Vassals of the Morning Star

Posted by Quingu on November 14, 2022 at 3:52pm 0 Comments

Enki's (WAR)craft

Posted by Quingu on November 12, 2022 at 2:50pm 0 Comments

The Illuminati Sacrifice (II)

Posted by Quingu on November 10, 2022 at 10:24am 0 Comments

The Illuminati Sacrifice

Posted by Quingu on November 8, 2022 at 11:00am 0 Comments

The Antichrist

Posted by Quingu on November 8, 2022 at 4:04am 0 Comments

The 3looD MooN

Posted by Quingu on November 7, 2022 at 2:27pm 0 Comments

The Brotherhood of Shadows

Posted by Quingu on November 6, 2022 at 5:00am 0 Comments

The Chun Li (Tribe of Dan)

Posted by Quingu on November 4, 2022 at 9:30am 0 Comments

Happy Day Of The Dead

Posted by Sirian Starlight on November 1, 2022 at 11:06pm 4 Comments

The Corrupt Hive Mind

Posted by Quingu on October 31, 2022 at 1:42pm 1 Comment

Zeta Rigelean (Abeloth)

Posted by Quingu on October 28, 2022 at 11:30am 0 Comments

Tenancy Difficulties

Posted by William J. Coblentz on October 24, 2022 at 3:07pm 0 Comments

Joke Corner

Posted by William J. Coblentz on October 20, 2022 at 3:12pm 4 Comments

ODE TO MUSICKAL BROTHER!

Posted by Rosey Cross on October 10, 2022 at 5:38pm 2 Comments

NOVEMBER AWARENESS









© 2022   Created by Bryan   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service