China Releases Photo Of First Seed Sprouting

Theresa Obrien
January 16, 2019

As of Tuesday, Chinese state media report that the cotton seeds have sprouted aboard the lander.

China wants to be the first country to establish a base on the moon and will be using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said Monday, weeks after landing a rover on the far side of the moon.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) stashed cotton, rape, potato and rockcress seeds aboard the Chang'e lander, which was Earth's first spacecraft to successfully touch down on the far side of the Moon earlier this month having blasted off at the start of December.

However, plants have successfully been grown on the worldwide Space Station (ISS).

The mission, titled Chang'e 4, is meant to accomplish a range of tasks, including conducting the first lunar low-frequency radio astronomy experiment and exploring whether there is water at the moon's poles.

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"And potato could become a major source of food for future space travelers", Liu said.

Xie said the experiment would allow scientists to learn how plants can grow in the "low gravity, strong radiation and natural lighting conditions of the Moon", according to the university.

Beijing plans to launch construction of its own manned space station next year. Yeast could play a role in regulating carbon dioxide and oxygen in the mini biosphere, and the fruit fly would be a consumer of the photosynthesis process.

Images sent back by the probe show a cotton sprout has grown well, but so far none of the other plants has taken, the university said. The space agency is developing preliminary plans for a crewed lunar landing mission in the 2030s, with the possibility of building a moon base with global cooperation afterward. So far, only the cotton seeds have sprouted. The cotton can make material for astronaut's clothes. "Our country's first Mars exploration mission will take place before and after 2020". Chang'e 4 is located in the Von Karman crater in the moon's southern hemisphere.

"And with time moving on, it'll be the first plant with green leaves on the moon", he added.

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