Seeds Have Sprouted On The Moon For The First Time

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The biosphere was also equipped with water, soil, air, two small cameras and a heat control system, said Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University, the experiment's lead designer.

China says it has grown the first plants on the Moon as part of its historic mission to the far side.

Head of the experiment, Liu Hanlong, said that rapeseed and potato seeds had also sprouted aboard Chang'e-4.

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.

A cotton seed carried to the Moon by China's recent Chang'e-4 probe has sprouted, the first for any biological matter to grow on the Moon, the media reported on Tuesday.

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

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Still, that might well be a giant leap for mankind, since it hints at the possibility of growing food on the moon to feed astronauts on long space missions without requiring them to return to Earth for additional supplies.

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

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.

The ability to grow plant life on the Moon or in deep space could have a number of benefits for manned space voyages in the future.

Chinese scientists now hope both plants will root and sprout in the container, producing the first flower ever grown on the space rock.

Video taken from the Chang'e-4 probe shows its view as it hovered over Earth's rocky neighbor before quickly dropping toward its surface.

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The 1.3-tonne lander, which made a soft landing on the Moon, put potato seeds and silkworm eggs housed in a chamber, and fed natural light and nutrition, on the Moon.

"We had no such experience (growing plants on the moon) before".

Sprouts from cotton seeds have emerged from a lattice-like structure in a metal canister inside the lander, China said.

After Chang'e-4 landed on the far side of the moon on January 3, the ground control center instructed the probe to water the plants to start the growing process.

Some space and worldwide affairs analysts estimated that China's forays into lunar exploration could inspire a new space race of sorts.

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