China has grown cotton seed on the moon and hopes to germinate potatoes on the back of Earth's satellite over the next 100 days.
When the Chang'e-4 robotic complex(Chang’e 4) landed successfully on the lunar surface on January 3, 2019, he brought an airtight container worth about $ 1.8 million for growing crops in shocking conditions.
First in human history: The cotton seedling has been spangled,
- People's Daily, China (@PDChina) January 15, 2019
An aluminum alloy cylinder with a height of 18 cm and16 cm in diameter contains silkworm eggs, fruit fly and potato seeds, watercress, rapeseed, and Tal (Arabidopsis thaliana), widely used in biological research. The components of this closed biosphere were chosen to behave as “producers, consumers, and decomposers”: plants must produce oxygen and food through photosynthesis, and also be a food source for maintaining fruit flies. Insects after hatching when breathing will produce carbon dioxide, necessary for the life of the crop. Yeast is designed to decompose dead flies and plant waste.
So far only cotton seed has sprouted. However, it will not be easy to cultivate crops, since the temperature on the surface of the moon can soar to around 123 ° C during the day and fall to -153 ° C at night. To cope with this, the team has developed a container to maintain the temperature from 1 ° C to 30 ° C. Although this is by no means the first plant grown in space, it is the first one grown on the moon under lunar gravity.