FROM EIR DAILY ALERT
China’s Little Biosphere Grows the First Plant on the Moon
Jan. 15, 2019 (EIRNS)—Chinese scientists reported today that one of the cotton seeds housed in a container in the Chang’e-4 lander has sprouted. More than 170 photographs have been taken of the activity inside the small tin container, which includes a variety of seeds, fruit flies, and silkworm eggs. Images sent back, says experiment designer Prof. Xie Gengxin from Chongqing University, show one cotton seed has sprouted and started to grow. No other plants were seen growing.
Xinhua reports that after Chang’e-4 landed, ground controllers sent commands to the probe to water the plants. A tube on the lander directs the natural sunlight on the Moon into the cannister. Therefore, as the Moon now enters its 14-day night, the mini-biosphere will have no light, and the experiment is over. Until now, Xie says, such growth experiments were only conducted in low Earth orbit. This is the first one on the Moon.
Although this experiment had limited success, it sets the stage for larger-scale experiments to bring life to the Moon.