Cotton shoot growing on Chang'e (CNSA)For a brief period, a small green shoot grew on the Moon. A cotton seed germinated on board the Chinese space probe Chang'e 4, which successfully touched down on the Moon's surface on 3rd January. “This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface,” said Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University, who designed the experiment. The ability to grow plants in space is seen by scientists as a vital step in preparing for establishing colonies on Mars at some point in the future. Growing and harvesting crops using water extracted from the ground or melted from ice would mean astronauts could survive on Mars for much longer than if they relied on supplies from Earth.
Moon Goddess Chang'e
The Chang’e 4 probe, named after the Chinese Goddess of the Moon, made the first ever landing on the far side of the Moon on 3rd January 2019. It was a major step in China’s ambitions to join the USA and Russia as a space superpower. The successful landing took place in the Von Kármán crater, which lies inside the South Pole-Aitken Basin.
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