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Plants Are Growing on the Moon for the First Time

Published: January 15, 2019
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Plants are growing on the Moon for the first time in human history.

Cotton seeds germinated in a small biosphere carried to the far side of the Moon by China’s lunar lander Chang’e-4, announced mission leads on Tuesday. The Chang’e-4 team released images of the sprouts, which began growing soon after the probe’s landing on January 3.

This Moon cotton is growing in soil that contains oilseed rape, potato, and arabidopsis seeds, but those have not visibly germinated yet. Fruit fly eggs were also put in the biosphere, which is protected by a sealed seven-pound canister, but they haven’t hatched (so far as we know as of Tuesday).

The achievement marks the first time that any biological matter has been grown on the Moon, though many plants, animals, and cultures have been studied on the International Space Station and previous orbital missions.

The mission already made history this month when it became the first lander ever to touch down on the far side of the Moon.

 

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China has embarked on an ambitious space program - surpassing the United States in orbital launches last year (primarily for satellites), and now landing their own lunar rover on the dark side of the moon, the Chang'e 4.

An extraordinary mission by the China National Space Administration helps us to learn a bit of ancient and modern Chinese culture.Today at 2:26 utc the lunar lander module Chang'e-4 and its six wheel rover Yutu-2 landed on the far side of the moon. They used the Queqiao relay satellite to send us the first ever close range pictures (see below) of the far side of the moon.

A Chinese spacecraft has become the first ever to land on the far side of the moon, according to state-run media, in a giant leap for human space exploration.The China National Space Administration (CNSA) landed the robotic probe Chang’e 4 in the unexplored South Pole-Aitken basin, the largest, oldest, deepest, crater on the moon’s surface.

China is launching a new satellite on Sunday as part of its ambitious Chang’e-4 mission to make the first-ever landing on the ‘dark side’ of the moon. The Queqiao relay satellite will be sent to Lagrange L2 Point, where it can maintain communication with both the far side of the moon and Earth. This is vital for phase two of the mission, later this year, when a lander and rover will be sent where no other has gone before – the side of the moon furthest away from Earth.

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