Life on The Moon Now a Reality? Chinese Moon Probe Successfully Germinates Plant
China has made some unbelievable progress yet again.
Just weeks when China first sent the Chang’e lander on the surface of the dark side of the moon, it has now achieved, what was never achieved before – growing life outside Planet earth.
In an article by IFL Science, China made history when it successfully germinated a cotton seed on the far side of the moon, which makes this the first time any biological thing was grown on the lunar surface.
To achieve this incredible feat, the cotton plant seed was germinated inside an air-tight canister, aboard the Chang’e-4 lander. Along with the seed, the canister also contains air, soil, and most importantly, water.
Additionally, it also includes rapeseed, arabidopsis flowers, some samples of yeasts, fruit fly eggs and potato.
The seeds are held dormant during the Chang’e-4’s trip to the Moon, but just days after it arrived, the ground control gave the signal to start watering the plants and start the experiment.
The biosphere is monitored by two cameras, and a heat-control system.
So far, only the cotton seed have germinated, but the Chinese space team are hoping that the others show signs of germination as well.
It is important to note that all of the biosphere’s components are essential to the experiment. The flowering plants are chosen as they were easy to observe on cameras, fruit flies will consume the growing plants, while the yeast will regulate the carbon dioxide levels inside the sealed canister.
For the potatoes, the Chinese team are hoping for ala “The Martian” movie, wherein potatoes are grown as they can be a great potential source of food in future missions to space.
As per the South China Morning Post, “We have given consideration to future survival in space. Learning about these plants’ growth in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of space base.”
In the future, China also hopes to send manned-missions to the Moon, come 2030.
Image Credit: Chongqing University