China grows the first seed on the Moon

A total eclipse of the full moon was visible in Athens on 27th July 2018. Credit PA

A total eclipse of the full moon was visible in Athens on 27th July 2018. Credit PA

The green shoots are the first time any biological matter has been grown on the moon.

Chinese scientists describe the mini biosphere as an "outer space ecosystem experiment" that will "reveal the growth and development status of plants and animals under the low gravity, strong radiation and natural lighting conditions of the moon". Inside you'll find soil, yeast, fruit fly and silkworm eggs, as well as cotton, potato, tomato, and (flowering) thale cress seeds.

China has once again made history by growing plants on the Moon.

China's ambitions for space and lunar exploration aren't limited to the current mission.

The China National Space Administration announced on Friday that the Chang'e 4 mission was "a complete success" as all scientific equipment mounted on the lander and rover had functioned well and their data had been received by ground control.

Such a base would likely rely on seeds being grown on the moon by astronauts, reducing the need for costly resupplies.

After becoming the first country in the world to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, China is planning four more missions to get samples back before studying the feasibility of a lunar research base.

The total lunar eclipse will last approximately 1 hour and 2 minutes, Space.com reports.

The People's Daily, the official state media for China's ruling Communist Party, tweeted a picture of the experiment, and claimed it is "humankind's first biological experiment on the Moon". The plant can be seen emerging out of a canister inside Chang'e 4 lander which touched down earlier this month.

Professor Xie Gengxin, the Chinese scientist in charge of the lunar plant experiment, said if successful, the project would signal that China was catching up in space exploration.

The "dark" side of the Moon may soon have a variety of vegetation growing there as China has begun its 100-day experiment to grow plants on the lunar surface. The later is carrying a handful of experiments to conduct on the Moon, according to The Verge. Many of these seeds were later planted back on Earth, becoming "Moon Trees".

The capsule and its seeds are stored on the Chang'e 4 lander, which is perched inside Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon.

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