China continues to make history.
In January of 2019, the Chinese Space Agency made history by successfully landing a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, becoming the first country in the world to do so.
Soon after, China released images and videos of the far side of the moon, showing never-before-seen details of the surface of the far side of the moon.
Now, new images from the moon’s surface have made their way back to Earth.
The images don’t show lunar craters or lunar rocks, but plants on the far side of the moon.
The Chinese Chang’e 4 mission has successfully kick-started the first biological experiment on the moon’s surface, making history, again.
First in human history: A cotton seed brought to the moon by China's Chang'e 4 probe has sprouted, the latest test photo has shown, marking the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the moon pic.twitter.com/CSSbgEoZmC
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) January 15, 2019
The Chinese lunar lander carries on board a container with potato seeds, soil, silkworm cocoon, water source, air, and cameras.
The goal is to observe the germination, growth, and respiration of these organisms in low gravity conditions existing on the lunar surface.
Chinese scientists also aim to create a “mini biosphere”, which could produce the first flower on the Moon.
All of these experiments are crucial if we hope one day to colonize the moon’s surface, creating self-sustaining lunar colonies.
And just as landing on the far side of the moon was history in the making, growing the first plants on the lunar surface is an achievement worthy of every praise.
“This will be the first time in human history a mini biosphere experiment is conducted on the lunar surface. Our goal is to have the first flower blossoming on the moon,” Xie Gengxin, president of Research Institute of National Defense Science and Technology of Chongqing University said in a statement.
“As we know, no air nor oxygen exists on the moon, and the temperature is always very extreme (over 100 degree Celsius in the daytime and 180 degree Celsius below freezing at night). Even if some of them leaked, they would have no chance to survive, they would be decomposed to harmless organics with no pollution on the moon,” he added.
The experiments performed by the Chinese lander are of great importance since it could pave the way for more biological life to be grown on lunar surface within a contained environment.
Scientists hope that potatoes could be used as a source of food for space travel, and cotton could be used to make clothing for space travelers.
Scientists also say that rapeseed could be used to produce oil.
Featured Image Credit: cqu.edu.cn.