Published: Thu, January 17, 2019
Science | By Michele Flores

Giant leaf for mankind? China germinates first seed on moon

Giant leaf for mankind? China germinates first seed on moon

Sprouts from cotton seeds have emerged from a lattice-like structure inside a metal canister inside the lander.

According to China's state-run Xinhua news agency, ground control center instructed the probe to begin watering the plants after Chang'e-4 landed on the far side of the moon on January 3.

Images released by the CNSA now appear to show cotton seeds sprouting, in what the ruling Communist Party's official mouthpiece, The People's Daily, labelled a "first in human history".

China's Chang'e-4 mission also marks the first time that a man-made vehicle landed on the far side of the Moon.

The seeds and eggs were kept dormant as the probe traveled through space.

Last night, they announced their first breakthrough publishing a picture of cotton seed, bought up on Chang'e 4 actually growing.

China is now the third country to establish a presence on the moon after the United States and Russian Federation. Professor Xie Gengxin, of Chongqing University and chief designer of the experiment, said a canister installed on the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe contained the seeds of cotton, rapeseed, potato and Arabidopsis, as well as eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast, to form a simple mini biosphere. Among its cargo is a miniature lunar biosphere developed by scientists at Chongqing University.

Transfer: Chelsea, Juventus reach agreement on Higuain
The Spaniard is keen to return to Madrid and Atletico are hopeful of meeting Chelsea's valuation. Higuain is now on loan at AC Milan , who have an option to make the move permanent in the summer.

Ford and Volkswagen announce alliance to build pickups and vans
This committee will be led by Hackett and Diess and will include senior executives from both companies. Volkswagen has about 20% of its shares owned by the German state of Lower Saxony, where it is based.

Jeremy Corbyn accuses Theresa May of being 'in denial' over Brexit deal
If May loses Wednesday's no-confidence vote, Britain will be on course for its third general election in four years. Labour said it was "obviously inaccurate" to claim the party did not have a plan for Brexit.

The seeds began growing once they received water from the probe via a command from a ground control centre.

China wants to establish a lunar research base one day, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said Monday. For example, the potatoes grown on the Moon could serve as the main source of food for astronauts, while the rapeseed could be used to produce oil.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shared its glee on Twitter, saying, "China's moon mission success means that astronauts could potentially harvest their own food in space!" The lander will provide water, air, and maintain a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius to help the plant grow.

To the Australian Astronomical Association astronomer-at-large, Fred Watson, the development was "good news", reports the BBC.

Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the national space agency, speaks during a press conference held in Beijing, China, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

China's ambitions for space and lunar exploration aren't limited to the current mission.

Like this: