The First Seeds on the Moon Are Sprouting

The total lunar eclipse will begin at 11:41 p.m. ET on Jan. 20 and peak around 12:16 a.m. ET on Jan. 21

The total lunar eclipse will begin at 11:41 p.m. ET on Jan. 20 and peak around 12:16 a.m. ET on Jan. 21

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 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.

Cotton seeds planted on the far side of the Moon have sprouted for the first time, according to the Chinese space agency.

Images sent by the probe showed that a cotton sprout had started to grow, though no other plants were found growing.

China's bold moon-exploration plans don't stop with the pioneering Chang'e 4 mission, which made the first-ever soft landing on the lunar far side on January 2.

The deputy director of China's space agency, Wu Yanhua, said that the Chang'e-4 mission marked a turning point for Chinese space exploration. Put simply, it means that humans in the future might be able to establish a sustainable ecosystem on the Moon without having to exclusively rely upon replenishing supplies from trips back and forth between the Moon and Earth.

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China's The Long March 3B rocket, transporting the Chang'e-4 lunar rover in December. The series of missions will also lay the groundwork for the construction of a lunar research base, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities. Reports from China indicate that the cotton seeds have germinated while the lander is parked on the far side of the moon.

During the 20-day journey from Earth to the far side of the moon, the cotton seeds and other plants were made dormant by "biological technology".

While human beings have grown plants in space before, they've never attempted to grown one on the moon.

China announced on Monday that the Chang-e 5 lunar mission would launch at the end of 2019 with a goal to bring moon samples back to Earth, according to CNN.

The cylindrical canister, in which the seeds were kept, also had fruit fly eggs and yeast to create a simple bio sphere inside. All countries are welcome to participate in China's follow-up lunar exploration and deep space exploration projects, he said.

The moon's wide temperature fluctuations make it hard for plants to grow, so a special canister is being used for the experiment to keep the temperature stable.

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