China's Moon mission sees first seeds sprout

How where to see upcoming ‘blood moon’ lunar eclipse

Xie Gengxin, dean of Institute of Advanced Technology at Chongqing University, and the chief designer of the experiment, praised the achievement on the university's blog.

Images sent back by the probe show a cotton plant has grown well, but so far none of the other plants had sprouted, the university said.

The pioneering landing highlights China's ambitions to rival the US, Russia and Europe in space through manned flights and the planned construction of a permanent space station.

"A cotton seed brought to the moon by China's Chang'e 4 probe has sprouted ... marking the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the moon", it tweeted. Wu Yanhua, deputy head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), a press conference laid out the countries plans for several more lunar missions.

Cotton seeds, potato seeds, rapeseed, yeast, and fruit fly eggs were all sealed inside a canister and loaded on the lander to protect them from extreme temperature and radiation.

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.

Shortly after the successful landing of the Chang'e-4 probe on the far side of the moon on January 3, China's spacecraft is going back at the end of this year to make its second of the four missions to the moon.

The far side of the Moon, which humans know much less about than the side that faces the Earth, is often mistakenly called the "dark" side, though it is not actually deprived of light.

The seeds began growing once they received water from the probe via a command from a ground control centre.

Liu Hanlong, who is leading the experiment, said that the cotton seeds were the first to sprout, in comments to the South China Morning Post. Tests on Earth show that viable, self-sustaining biospheres are exceptionally hard to build and maintain.

Worldwide discussions about sending humans to the Moon and Mars have brought many challenges waiting to be solved, and among them is food supply.

Chinese scientists now hope both plants will root and sprout in the container, producing the first flower ever grown on the space rock.

Growing plants on the Moon is - and this is a technical term, here - tricky.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top ‘Can Bat Wherever Team Needs Me To’: Man of the Series Dhoni
Jan 19, 2019 - 08:27
India won the toss and opted to bowl in the third and final one-day worldwide against Australia in Melbourne on Friday. In the first half of the Sheffield Shield season for Western Australia he took 27 wickets at 19.03 in five matches.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mariah Carey suing former Assistant for Blackmailing her with "Embarrassing" Videos
Jan 19, 2019 - 05:28
Carey is seemingly implicated in this, as Azarian alleges the singer was in the vicinity of the alleged abuse and "did nothing". It is reported the assistant had previously shown the videos to friends and claimed she would sell them if she was ever fired.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UK Says Second Brexit Vote Would Take Over a Year to Organize
Jan 18, 2019 - 11:57
Meanwhile, May has invited her parliamentary opposition into negotiations, in hopes of crafting a consensus Brexit agreement. Mr Carswell wrote: "It was crystal-clear to us that if the referendum became a Cameron vs Farage contest, we would lose".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top House OKs bill to reopen USA gov’t through February 8
Jan 18, 2019 - 11:00
Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said Republicans were divided over a proposal by Sens. The White House said the meeting was fruitful.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sevilla say deal for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is ‘impossible’
Jan 18, 2019 - 10:28
The 31-year-old Argentina striker played under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli and a reunion with the Chelsea boss is on the cards. They may also choose to purchase him at any point during the loan or extend the loan until the end of the 2019/20 season.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Serena Williams cruises into Australian Open third round
Jan 18, 2019 - 00:11
She also wore a black catsuit at the French Open, which sparked controversy when the tournament boss criticized the outfit. Williams is 8-2 in her career against Halep and has faced her only twice in Slams, taking both meetings.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saints vs. Rams NFC Championship game 2019
Jan 16, 2019 - 22:56
Brees is one of the NFL's best people off the field, and his remarkable career would be enhanced by another championship. Nine years after winning the Super Bowl , quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton are on the verge of another trip.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kelly definitely knew Aaliyah was only 15 at the time of marriage
Jan 16, 2019 - 22:48
Rodgers, as follows: 'If she persists in court actions, she will be subject to public opinion during the discovery process". Kelly wrote to Lydia Hills, an attorney for Ms.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top United States shutdown: Trump to sign off on back pay for federal workers
Jan 16, 2019 - 22:46
Now, they see that loss happening every week the shutdown lasts, according to a CNBC report citing an unnamed official. That did not sit well with retired New York Giants defensive end and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top China Focus: Moon sees first cotton-seed sprout
Jan 16, 2019 - 22:45
With the ability to grow edible plants, astronauts could grow and harvest their own food, enabling long-term habitation. China says it has grown the first plants on the Moon as part of its historic mission to the far side.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Kane injury will not affect January transfer plans
Jan 16, 2019 - 22:43
Speaking before tests confirmed Kane's ligament damage , Pochettino had already admitted he was "worried" about the situation. The 25-year-old is Tottenham's top scorer this season with 20 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump White House sought strike plans against Iran
Jan 16, 2019 - 22:27
Washington withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May previous year and re-imposed batches of sanctions on Tehran. The newspaper reported that the request sparked deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Chinese club to increase bid for West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic?
Jan 15, 2019 - 08:32
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed the reason he chose to exclude Mesut Ozil from his matchday sqaud against West Ham . When quizzed on Arnautovic's future at West Ham, Pellegrini admitted it was unclear.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Goes Off On Comey: 'He's A Bad Cop, A Dirty Cop'
Jan 15, 2019 - 07:31
Trump went to "extraordinary lengths" to hide details of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin from top USA officials. There were also reports of his excessive secrecy over talks with the Russian president in five separate encounters.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Anna Faris Reacts to Chris Pratt's Engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger
Jan 15, 2019 - 06:43
Anna Faris isn't keeping quiet about her ex-husband Chris Pratt's engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger . We're officially calling you crystal ball Katherine now! One said: "They're such a great fit together".