After conquering dark side of the moon, China targets Mars in 2020

After conquering dark side of the moon, China targets Mars in 2020

Some other seeds that reportedly sprouted include rapeseed and potato seeds.

China's Xinhua news agency said the cylinder canister, made from special aluminum alloy materials, was 198mm tall, 173mm in diameter and weighted 2.6kg. For example, astronauts on the ISS are now working with an orbital agriculture experiment called Veggie which has recently faced issues with plant mold.

They hope Chang'e 5 will be launched this year tasked with bringing the first moon samples back to earth since the 1970s.

Cotton seeds carried to the moon by a Chinese probe have sprouted, marking what could be the first plant to ever grow there, according to Chinese government images. And even the cotton plant is looking pretty peaky compared to seedlings in a control setup the scientists established on Earth.

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.

Xie Gengxin, the scientist who led the experiment's design, said on Tuesday that it was "the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface", The Guardian reported.

The image from the China National Space Administration shows the first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe.

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Until this experiment, the researchers said they weren't sure it was possible to grow plants in a low gravity environment. It involves an 18-centimeter container holding a mini-biosphere of air, water, and soil, as well as cotton seeds, potato seeds, arabidopsis seeds, yeast, and fruit fly eggs.

The breakthrough is seen as key to future space missions, as the ability to grow plants could be key to longer-term missions such as journeys to Mars.

A team of scientists from the Chongqing University in southwest China sent a small biological payload aboard the probe, which landed on the lunar surface on January 3.

The experiments designed by Chongqing University Crops have been successfully grown on the International Space Station, but they have never before been grown on the moon.

It also plans to send an unmanned mission to Mars in 2020.

According to Wu, Chang'e 6 will be on a mission to collect samples from the Moon's South pole and later missions will be created to conduct surveys of the surrounding area.

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