Saturday, 16 February, 2019

China's Lunar Probe Sees First Cotton-seed Sprout

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Frank Williams | 17 January, 2019, 13:46

The China National Space Administration is working to send a probe to the Red Planet, said Wu Yanhua, deputy chief of the agency.

"We have given consideration to future survival in space".

First, it's a wolf moon, a traditional name for full moons in winter.

China is also building its own space station, called Tiangong or Heavenly Palace, which is expected to be operational in 2022.

"This is limited in what it's doing, but also unique from analog experiments on the Earth", freelance journalist Andrew Jones, who covers China's space program told The Verge.

A small green shoot is growing on the moon in an out-of-this-world first after a cotton seed germinated on board a Chinese lunar lander, scientists said today.

CNSA said the biological plants sent on the lunar mission had to pass strict requirements because of the extremely small size allowed in the cargo.

U.S. Condemns Latest Iranian Attempt At Satellite Launch
Payam and Doosti were both meant to gather information on environmental change in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday. Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

After its successful landing on the moon earlier this month, the Chang'e-4, a lander weighing 1.3 tons, planted potato seeds and placed silkworm eggs in a chamber and are sustained by natural light and nutrition on the moon. He said the two space agencies shared data related to the recent moon landing.

Yet, it seems China National Space Administration's probe Chang'e 4 had a special mission upon touch down.

According to Wu, the Chang'e 6 mission will be created to bring samples back from the south pole of the moon and this will be followed by probes that will conduct comprehensive surveys of the area. So far, only the cotton seeds have sprouted.

The whole experiment is contained within an 18 cm tall, 3 kg canister that was designed by 28 Chinese universities, the BBC said. The greatest challenge according to Chinese scientists is the constant weather changes on the moon.

"This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface", Gengxin told The Guardian.

Potatoes could be a main source food for space explorers, cotton could be used for clothing, and rapeseed could be a source of oil, Liu said. The cotton can make material for astronaut's clothes. It could mean humans elsewhere in the solar system would be able to grow food to consume in space, which can reduce the need and costs of getting supplies from Earth. Tests on Earth show that viable, self-sustaining biospheres are exceptionally hard to build and maintain.

The State Council Information Office of China (SCIO) held a press conference Monday (Jan. 14) to discuss that epic touchdown, and to give an overview of the nation's future activities on Earth's nearest neighbor.

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