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China's Chang'e-4 sees first cotton seed sprout on Moon

19
Jan '19
Courtesy: Chongqing University
Courtesy: Chongqing University
A cotton seed carried to the Moon by China’s recent robotic spacecraft Chang’e-4 has sprouted, the first for any biological matter to grow there. Images showed a cotton sprout had grown well, though no other plant was found growing. On January 3, the probe landed on the far side of the moon, a first in the human history of space exploration.

The 1.3-tonne lander, which made a soft landing on the Moon, carried the seeds of cotton, oilseed rape, potato and arabidopsis, as well as eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast, to form a simple mini biosphere, a state-run news agency reported quoting a team led by scientists from Chongqing University in southwest China.

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

The development reportedly implies astronauts could potentially harvest their own food in space, reducing the need to come back down to Earth to re-supply.

The plants are kept in a sealed container on board the Chang’e-4 lander. The crops will try to form a mini biosphere—an artificial, self-sustaining environment.

The whole experiment is contained within an 18 cm tall, 3 kg canister that was designed by 28 Chinese universities. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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