Life Starts on the Dark Side of the Moon Onboard Chinese Lander Chang'e-4

Somewhere in there there's a baby cotton plant 1 photo
Photo: Chongqing University via South China Morning Post
In the first days of 2019, the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA) managed to land on the dark side of the Moon the Chang'e-4 mission. The goal of the mission is to identify the composition of the soil in the region and learn more about a part of the Earth satellite never studied by humans.
Onboard the lander is a never-before attempted experiment, a canister containing a total of six organisms - potato, Arabidopsis, rapeseed, cotton, yeast and fruit flies.

Encased in a container on board the lander, the organisms are currently on the Moon with a clear purpose: to see whether plants can breathe and use photosynthesis in that specific environment and if they can help other beings exist as well. And apparently they can.

According to the scientists running the experiment, the first of the plants in the capsule to have come to life was cotton, followed shortly after by potatoes and rapeseed.

This initial development will eventually lead to the plants producing enough oxygen to keep the fruit flies alive, while yeast will act as a decomposition agent to break down the insects’ waste.

All this will happen in the container that contains water, air, and nutrients. It has a temperature regulated at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), not an easy task given the fact that temperatures on the Lunar surface vary greatly from super cold to extremely hot.

“We have given consideration to future survival in space. Learning about these plants’ growth in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of space base,” said in a statement cited by South China Morning Post Xie Gengxin, the head of the experiment.

To back up their claims, the Chinese released a photo showing what they claim is a germinated cottonseed in a container on the surface of the Moon.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories