China’s Weird Moon Discovery Baffles Scientists
China’s National Space Administration reports mission-delivered seeds have begun to sprout on the moon «Chang’e-4».
In addition to equipment for geological research, the spacecraft contains a container with air, water, seeds of cotton, potatoes, rapeseed and arabidopsis, as well as a culture of yeast and fruit fly eggs, which should form into a miniature artificial biosphere. On January 15, the space agency reported that the cotton seeds had buds. «People’s newspaper» published in Twitter one of the images of the first successful lunar biological experiment.
The ability to grow some crops on the moon confirms that there are no uncertain problems for space travelers of the future, according to study leaders. The satellite of the Earth should become an intermediate point for distant missions, primarily to Mars. Studying the growth of these plants in low-gravity conditions will allow scientists to lay the foundation for the creation of a future space base..
These species were placed in capsules, since cotton can be used to make clothes, potatoes will become the main food source, oil is produced from rapeseed, and Arabidopsis was chosen because of its rapid growth and ease of study. Yeast is necessary to regulate the level of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the mini-biosphere, and the fruit fly will become a consumer of photosynthetic products.
Snapshot «Chang’e-4» on the far side of the moon.
The researchers used biotechnology to keep seeds and eggs in the ground inactive for nearly two months. After landing on the far side of the moon on January 3, the probe system received a signal from the ground center to start watering the soil in order to activate the plants. Natural light enters the capsule through a special tube to support life..
Hyundai recently showed off the futuristic Elevate concept car that can literally walk on rough terrain and looks more like a moon rover than an SUV..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: CLEP