Plants have been grown on the Moon for the very first time

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 30, 2019

The ruling Communist Party's official mouthpiece the People's Daily tweeted an image of the sprouted seed, saying it marked "the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the Moon".

China will seek to establish an global lunar base one day, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said this week, a almost a fortnight after landing a rover on the moon's far side.

China wants to be the first country to establish a base on the moon and will be using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said Monday, weeks after landing a rover on the far side of the moon.

The cylinder canister, made from special aluminum alloy materials, is 198 mm tall, with a diameter of 173 mm and a weight of 2.6 kg. In the container, the organisms have air, water, nutrients, and a controlled temperature and humidity that is allowing them to grow.

Xie said potatoes could be a major source of food for future space travelers. The growth period of Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, is short and easy to observe.

The lunar mini biosphere experiment on the lander is created to test photosynthesis and respiration - processes in living organisms that result in the production of energy. This mission has launched China into space race. These tiny seeds are enclosed in a sealed container on the Chang'e 4 lander, and these crops could eventually form a self-sustaining biosphere on the moon.

Chang'e-4 and its solar-powered Yutu 2 rover are hibernating during the 2-week-long lunar night, but their handlers are already thinking about sending probes to places where the sun nearly always shines. The temperature could drop as low as about minus 170 degrees centigrade.

The experiment has ended. According to the deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), Wu Yanhua, the space agency plans on sending a probe to Mars as early as 2020, followed by manned missions. The environment on the moon, 380,000 kilometers from Earth, is more complex.

"We had no such experience before".

"The thicker dust shows that the lunar regolith in the region has undergone longer space weathering, which also gives strong evidence of the region being older", Li said. "We are going to verify some technologies via Chang'e-8, which is expected to do some preliminary exploration for a joint moon research base in the future".

CNSA hopes that this experiment will be useful for exploring future long-term missions to space.

According to the CNRS, Chang'e 4 will be ready to start doing science once the engineering test has been successfully completed.

Also aboard was the 3 kg mini biosphere, with the experiment initiated hours after landing.

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