China germinates first seeds on the moon

China germinates first seeds on the moon

The latest photos show that the cotton shoots are growing well.

Because the far side faces away from Earth, it is also shielded from radio transmissions - making it the flawless place from where to study the universe.

Cotton seeds have reportedly just sprouted in an experiment aboard China's Chang'e 4 moon lander. It also had some unusual guests on board and - in a first for the moon - one of them sprouted.

Both the lander and the rover entered a "sleep mode" on Sunday as the first lunar night after the probe's landing fell, Wu said. The experiment didn't last long.

As reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency, the Chang'e 7 mission will carry out comprehensive surveys around the moon's south pole, including studying terrain and landforms, the physical composition as well as the space environment in the region. It is hoped the organisms could eventually form the basis of a simple mini biosphere. Light was channeled into a tube in the canister, allowing a cotton seed to sprout. Some other seeds that reportedly sprouted include rapeseed and potato seeds.

More than 170 pictures have been taken by the cameras and sent back to Earth, according to the team. CNSA has yet to clarify the issue. A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth. "And with time moving on, it'll be the first plant with green leaves on the moon", Xie Gengxin, dean of Institute of Advanced Technology at Chongqing University, and the chief designer of the experiment, said in a university blog. NASA says the moon's temperatures near its equator can dive to -238 Fahrenheit (-150 Celsius).

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Chang'e-5, which will launch at the end of this year, will return a sample from the near side of the Moon.

After Chang'e-4 landed on the far side of the moon on January 3, the ground control center instructed the probe to water the plants to start the growing process.

The lander released a rover, nicknamed Yutu 2 (Jade Rabbit), that will perform experiments in the Von Kármán crater. The ability to grow plants in space is seen as crucial for long-term space missions and establishing human outposts elsewhere in the solar system, such as Mars.

Weeks later, it's made headlines again, for another world first.

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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