China claims first-ever cotton grows on far side of the moon

China claims first-ever cotton grows on far side of the moon

China claims first-ever cotton grows on far side of the moon

It is the first time a soft landing has been performed on the Moon's far side - also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown - due to challenges relaying signals. It could even help provide a blueprint for growing resources during a future moon colony established by humans.

Chinese scientists now hope both plants will root and sprout in the container, producing the first flower ever grown on the space rock. "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 said. The cotton seed was the only one to sprout.

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!"

Before China finished packing up its Chang'e 4 lunar lander to be blasted off on a never-before-accomplished journey to the far side of the moon, scientists slipped in a small tank holding plant seeds.

Xie Gengxin, who led the design of the experiment was quoted as saying, "This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface".

Along with the plants, fruit fly eggs and yeast were also included in the experiment, they say, with the goal of creating a "mini biosphere".

Dr Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the National Space Administration and deputy commander of lunar exploration projects, said in a press conference: "Chang'e-5 will return mission sampling from the surface of the moon around the end of this year".

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With the far side's lunar night having started, the six living things are frozen at -52 C. They will decompose into organic matter as the temperature rises during the next lunar day and remain inside the can forever.

Skygazers are set to be treated to a total lunar eclipse this weekend, on top of a "super blood wolf moon".

Hopefully, this development will make it easier to conduct more crewed missions to the moon and beyond in the coming years.

The China National Space Administration's lunar lander, seen on January 11.

In 2011, the US Congress passed a bill restricting cooperation between China and the US in space exploration.

China National Space Administration said on Monday that China would send a probe to Mars around 2020.

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