Science

China grows the first seed on the Moon

China grows the first seed on the Moon”

For the first time anybody is aware of, seeds have sprouted on a celestial body beyond Earth.

When its Chang'e 4 spacecraft touched down on the lunar surface it was carrying a £1m airtight container designed for growing crops in shocking conditions.

Charles Cockell, a professor of astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, told Newsweek that the latest achievement is "very significant" because it shows a proof of concept for growing plants on the moon.

"Whether the probe will land on the near side or the far side of the moon, we will make the decision according to the performance of Chang'e 5", he said.

Such a base would likely rely on seeds being grown on the moon by astronauts, reducing the need for costly resupplies.

Inside are cotton, arabidopsis - a small, flowering plant of the mustard family - and potato seeds, as well as fruit-fly eggs and yeast.

"In the past, we were always rushing to catch up to the advanced global standards" in space, said Wu Weiren, the chief designer of China's lunar exploration project.

In an attempt to better understand how plants and animals could grow and live on the lunar surface, Chongqing University equipped the Chang'e 4 lander with a "mini-biosphere" experiment, which is created to be a self-sustaining ecosystem, according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.

He said cotton could eventually be used for clothing while the potatoes could be a food source for astronauts and the rapeseed for oil.

Fred Watson, Australian Astronomical Observatory's astronomer-at-large, told the BBC the development was "good news".

"I think there's certainly a great deal of interest in using the Moon as staging post, particularly for flights to Mars, because it's relatively near the Earth", Mr Watson said. China has big ambitions of becoming a comparable top-tier space power with plans to send a crewed mission to the moon (the last one came in 1972) and to establish a research base there someday.

Chang'e-4 made its historic landing on January 3 after three weeks in lunar orbit, and the mission lander and rover have begun testing science payloads, taking images and roving around the landing area.

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 views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


15 January 2019
Tom Cruise confirms two new Mission: Impossible movies
Although no date is set for the production to commence, sources expect McQuarrie to start shooting sometime in 2019. The first few sequels in the big screen Mission: Impossible series had distinctively different directors and styles.

15 January 2019
Minnesota Vikings hire Gary Kubiak as offensive adviser
Following a 9-7 season the following year, missing the playoffs in the process, Kubiak retired, reportedly due to health reasons. In addition to Kubiak joining the coaching staff, his son Klint is expected to become the Vikings' quarterbacks coach.

15 January 2019
Solari: Not 'personal' for starting Real Madrid youngsters over Marcelo, Isco
Striker Benzema fell heavily on his right hand and was in obvious pain as he left the field shortly before the half-time interval. Failure to capture all three points will see them record their worst half a season points tally since the turn of the century.

15 January 2019
Windows 7 Support Ends 1 Year From Today
In any event, if you're still on Windows 7, here's an early heads up that you're down to your final year of free security updates. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 in 2015, but the OS is still covered by extended support until January 14, 2020.

15 January 2019
Andy Murray opens door to retirement U-turn after Australian Open defeat
If this was my last match playing tennis it was an wonderful way to end. "But I'll give it my best shot". I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. "I don't want to continue playing that way".

15 January 2019
Trump's AG nominee: Mueller should be allowed to finish work
Barr acknowledges that will provide "as much transparency" as he can under the law. He previously was attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W.

15 January 2019
Terminal B in Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport closes
Others are opening food pantries to support the Transportation Security Administration staffers working without pay . There have been a number of staffing issues at airports including Miami International and George Bush International.

15 January 2019
China logs record trade surplus with United States in 2018
Official data also showed the manufacturing sector contracted in December for the first time in more than two years. Chinese exporters also face pressure from cooling consumer demand in other global markets.

14 January 2019
Klopp praises Fabinho's 'defensive brain' after narrow Liverpool win
Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are all on the injury list at Liverpool , forcing Klopp to make the personnel change. But he did well in these situations and with the ball.

14 January 2019
Saudi girl to leave Bangkok for Canada tonight
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responded by expelling Canada's ambassador and withdrawing his own envoy. Though her asylum case has moved at lightning speed the mystery over which country will accept Rahaf remains.