Chinese cotton seed sprouts on moon

Chinese cotton seed sprouts on moon

The China National Space Administration is the Chinese equivalent of NASA.

"We have given consideration to future survival in space", Prof. "Learning about these plants' growth in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of space base", Liu told the paper.

First, it's a wolf moon, a traditional name for full moons in winter.

China is also building its own space station called Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace.

"This is limited in what it's doing, but also unique from analog experiments on the Earth", freelance journalist Andrew Jones, who covers China's space program told The Verge. A first-of-its-kind mini biosphere experiment, which the lunar lander carried, contained seeds of cotton, rape, potato and Arabidopsis. The lander has successfully sprouted small cotton plants as part of a biological experiment.

The space agency plans to launch a Chang'e-5 mission at the end of 2019 with the goal of collecting samples from the near side of the moon, Wu said.

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M - Seeds taken up to the Moon by China's Chang'e-4 mission have sprouted, says China National Space Administration, BBC reports. The "lunar mini biosphere" experiment was selected from more than 250 submissions. The greatest challenge according to Chinese scientists is the constant weather changes on the moon. As well as being "humankind's first biological experiment on the moon", it's an encouraging development for our ambition to send humans to Mars. 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 cotton can make material for astronaut's clothes.

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.

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

According to NASA, it will be one of the sky's "most dazzling shows", as the moon will be at its closest point to Earth, making the moon appear slightly bigger and a lot brighter, an event that is often referred to as a "supermoon".

The plans underscore China's ambitions in space at a time when the USA is curtailing NASA's budget and increasingly handing over space exploration to commercial adventurers, the Washington Post reported on Monday.