Science Cotton seed sprouts on the Moon! What is Moon...

Cotton seed sprouts on the Moon! What is Moon Tree?


China’s lunar probe – Chang’e-4 probe that landed on the moon earlier this month, had carried cotton seed in a canister has sprouted. It is the first life to grow on the moon.

The China’s lunar probe landed on the far side of the moon on January 3, 2019. The lunar probe had also carried seeds of rape, potato and arabidopsis, and eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast, to form a simple mini biosphere.

Scientists from Chongqing University  has sent a 7 inch bucket-like container holding air, water and soil to create a mini lunar biosphere.

Growing plants on the moon, enables astronauts to grow their own food and sustain themselves during Mars mission or other space missions.

The first challenge in growing plants in space is how to get plants to grow without gravity. This runs into difficulties regarding the effects of gravity on root development, providing appropriate types of lighting, and other challenges.

An effort to grow plants in space is not the first attempt.

What is Moon Tree

  • Moon trees are trees grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit around the Moon by Stuart Roosa during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971
  • Seeds for the experiment were chosen from five different types of trees: loblolly pinesycamoresweetgumredwood, and Douglas fir
  • The seeds orbited the Moon, but were not landed on it
  • After the flight the seeds were sent to the southern Forest Service station in Gulfport, Mississippi, and to the western station in Placerville, California, with the intent to germinate them
  • Nearly all the seeds germinated successfully, and the Forest Service had some 420 seedlings after a few years. Some of these were planted alongside their earth-bound counterparts, which were specifically set aside as controls.
Source: Wikipedia, NDTV, TheQuint

What is…

Lunar probe: Exploration of the Moon

Canister: A round or cylindrical container used for storing such things as food, chemicals, or rolls of film.

Sprout: (of a plant) put out shoots (Synonym – Germinate)

Biosphere: The regions of the surface and atmosphere of the earth or another planet occupied by living organisms.

An artificial structure enclosing a self-contained ecosystem or ecosystems.

Germinate: (of a plant) put out shoots.

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