First plants sprout on the moon as Chinese lander takes cotton seeds to ‘dark side’
The first ever plants have sprouted on the moon, after China’s Chang’e-4 mission carried cotton seeds to the ‘dark side’, facing away from Earth.
Astronauts have previously sprouted plants on the International Space Station, but never on the moon.
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.
The cotton seed grew in a lattice-like structure inside a canister after the lander touched down on the moon on January 3, say researchers at Chongqing University.
Researcher Xie Gengxin said, ‘This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface.’
China’s space administration also released a 12-minute video of Chang’e 4’s landing, using more than 4,700 images taken by an on-board camera.
The probe is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid obstacles on the ground.
The far side has been observed many times from lunar orbits, but never explored on the surface.
It is popularly called the ‘dark side’ because it cannot be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.
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.
Pictures released by the China National Space Administration released pictures showing a rocky surface with the jagged edge of craters in the background, posing a challenge for controllers in plotting the rover’s travels, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
‘From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling,’ said Li Chunlai, deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatories of China and commander-in-chief of the ground application system of Chang’e-4.
Researchers hope that low-frequency observations of the cosmos from the far side of the moon, where radio signals from Earth are blocked, will help scientists learn more about the early days of the solar system and birth of the universe’s first stars.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46886.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Observer12 hours ago
The context is important. On both the ISS and the far-side of the moon, plants were sprouted/grown under synthetic earth environments, albeit different gravity conditions. Earth-like atmosphere composition, temperature, pressure and light conditions were created to accommodate plant growth. THere's no place like home.
Jake from State Farm12 hours ago
Are the seeds actually growing on moon soil in the moons environment or are they growing in a controlled environment with heat, water, etc..... Big difference.
Silveringot12 hours ago
While China teleports molecules and GROWS PLANTS IN SPACE, there still exist people in the U.S who think the earth is flat.
Dennis Green12 hours ago
Waiting for my T-Shirt with a tag that says made on the moon.
Jeff H12 hours ago
Next time we go to the moon, there will be fields of cotton on the dark side.
darrin12 hours ago
This July will mark the 50th anniversary of putting a man on the moon. That was far more incredible especially in an analog world.
martin2 days ago
It amazes me that China can spend billions on their space programme, but still accept Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the UK for Health, Education, Law, Culture & Science. Surely this would be better spent in the UK or more deserving Countries in Dire Need of Aid for Food and Medicine.??
JBM2 days ago
Why are the photos always the quality of the camera on a 10 year old mobile phone?
CREEMORE13 hours ago
How are they heating the seeds? I dont know of any plant life that grows without any heat and there is no source of heat on the moon.
Faith9 hours ago
Anyone could take a container of native earth soil and grow plants in it anywhere they wished. It’s not like they actually planted seeds directly into the moon’s soil (if you can call it that) and had them sprout. The moon has virtually no atmosphere and not enough water for plants to grow. This is a non-story.
Ioki12 hours ago
Have they claimed the moon as sovereign Chinese territory and starting setting up military bases yet?
daniel12 hours ago
Meanwhile, US Government is in shutdown over a 23+ billion dollar wall.
Thank you Trump.
chilli12 hours ago
They will also be the first to open a restaurant on the moon
Gold11 hours ago
The writer is writing a piece of news. He is not trying to write a lab report. Why are the Yahoo commentators so picky about some of the words/sentences used in this article. These people are barking on the wrong tree. The experiment on growing cotton seeds is mainly to verify the impact of the atmosphere or the gravitational force on the moon has any impact on the germination and growth of the cotton seeds.
Dave12 hours ago
How is it possible to take a picture of the lander from a distance?
ted12 hours ago
Humanity: China put lives on moon. US is closing the government to fight for putting beautiful and expensive walls in desert.
Running on Empty12 hours ago
Next, China will be creating artificial islands on the Moon and claiming that the moon
historically belongs to them.
Hounddoggin6 hours ago
Space cotton makes the best clothes. They feel so light weight.
modified16412 hours ago
Unbelievable. China can go to the moon and grow plants, but NASA can't get funding in place to do anything like this
ThomasD12 hours ago
Dillon12 hours ago
Not really groundbreaking. We've had the capability to do this ever since mankind entered space. It grew in a climate controlled canister. Big deal.
T T12 hours ago
Was not on the moon. It was in a capsule that could have been anywhere.
Typical misleading headline with Yahoo.
DOWDELL9 hours ago
Totally misleading report. Seeds remain in a totally enclosed, artificial environment placed on the moon surface.
Kay10 hours ago
Ok, is this cotton growing ON THE MOON, or in the space rover or space station under a controlled environment? The headlines make it sound like it is growing on the moon respectively. I do not believe that is what is going on. Media needs to take responsibility for their creative writing.
Big Time12 hours ago
Moon soil has no Organic Matters for Plant to eat !
next time Mix some Moon Soil and Earth Organic Soil to see if plant can grow.
Tien12 hours ago
Misleading propaganda china, plant is grown inside the probe same thing inside space station, not on the surface of the moon
James8 hours ago
Was the cotton seed grow in moon soil or earth soil? Never seen a cotton seed grow in temperatures of 260 F daytime or -280 F nighttime.
Well done China.
Toolman8 hours ago
China testing the Moon soils if Moon can be cultivate then they will migrate half of their population there.
Mike12 hours ago
You would think they'd try growing rice...
SlugBug10 hours ago
Fake news, unless it was planted in the moons soil on the moon then this is total BS.
jo5 hours ago
it sprouted then died the following day as expected...they only did this to be in the 'record' books.
Scott12 hours ago
cool ! soon chinese spacenauts can have their fresh salads in space. go china !
Red Blooded American11 hours ago
The plants did not sprout on the moon. They sprouted within a controlled environment inside the lander.
K4 hours ago
i wonder if all the weirdos that think we never went to the moon think this is all fake too?
DM19 seconds ago
This is the greatest lunar achievement.