China and NASA shared data about historic moon landing


Some other seeds that reportedly sprouted include rapeseed and potato seeds.

Another goal of the mission was to test whether plants could grow in a low-gravity environment, a test which appears to have already yielded results. For example, astronauts on the ISS are now working with an orbital agriculture experiment called Veggie which has recently faced issues with plant mold. And because lunar eclipses can occur only during a full moon - and the first full moon in January is known as a "wolf moon" - many are calling this spectacular event a "Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse".

The Chang'e 4 lander is the first to visit the far side of Earth's natural satellite, sometimes called "the dark side of the moon".

It is the first time any biological matter has been grown on the celestial body. And even the cotton plant is looking pretty peaky compared to seedlings in a control setup the scientists established on Earth.

Chang'e 4 touched down on the far side of the moon on 3 January with equipment, and a rover meant to explore the moon's surface and to conduct the biological growth experiments.

According to China's state television, photos sent back by its Chang'e -4 luna probe on Tuesday shows that cotton seeds carried by the probe have sprouted.

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"We have given consideration to future survival in space", Liu told the Hong Kong-based news outlet.

The Chinese Moon lander was carrying among its cargo soil containing cotton and potato seeds, yeast and fruit fly eggs.

The landing is a milestone for China's fledgling space program, marking the first time that China has completed a significant space mission that was not already performed previously by the USA or Russian Federation.

China is to continue lunar exploration with its Chang'e-5 sample return in late 2019 and follow up with missions to the Moon's South Pole, namely Chang'e-6, 7 and 8, in the early 2020s.

The ability to grow food on the moon would be important if humanity ever attempts to make good on the sci-fi dream of building a crewed lunar base. He said that the cotton and rapeseed were chosen because they could provide the astronauts with the raw material needed to produce clothing and oil.

It also plans to send an unmanned mission to Mars in 2020.