China confirms seeds sprouting on dark side of moon

China confirms seeds sprouting on dark side of moon

That's because temperatures drop to -150 degress Celsius during lunar nights on the moon, and according to Xie Gengxin, chief designer of the experiment, life inside the canister would simply not survive those conditions.

The Chang'e-5 mission will collect samples from the near side of the moon at the end of the year while another probe will be sent to Mars by 2020, the deputy head of China's space administration, Wu Yanhua, wrote in an official transcript online.

Chang'e-4's probe took pictures of the cotton sprouts - but it was noted that the other plant seeds have not grown yet.

Professor Liu Hanlong was in charge of the mission and issued the following statement on the accomplishment: "We have given consideration to future survival in space".

As it sped through space, Chang'e-4 carried a mini biosphere in a canister - containing "the seeds of cotton, rapeseed, potato, and arabidopsis, as well as eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast", according to the Xinhua news agency.

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The 2011 Wolf Amendment, motivated by security concerns, bans NASA scientists from working with Chinese citizens affiliated to a Chinese state enterprise or entity. The Chang'e-4 lunar probe is now in the Von Carmer crater in the moon's southern hemisphere, and in the night time, the probe will be sent to sleep.

The unmanned probe became the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon on January 3rd.

It is the first time a soft landing has been performed on the Moon's far side - also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown - due to challenges relaying signals. Also, potato seeds were carried as the vegetable is seen by many scientists as a future source of food for astronauts travelling to and living on human outposts on the Moon, Mars and elsewhere in the solar system. Only on reaching the moon the command to water the seed was given. Meanwhile, sprouts in an Earth-based control experiment were shown to be evidently performing much better.

"We will use the Chang'e-8 to test certain technologies and do some preliminary exploration for jointly building a research base on the moon", Wu said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in full support of China's space explorations as he repeatedly said that he has lofty ambitions to make China a space power.

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