The seeds of cotton, potatoes and rapeseed ascended on the moon, the head of the biological experiment in the framework of the Chinese mission Chang'e-4 said. Photos of sprouts published by the Chinese Space Agency. Chinese scientists hope that potatoes and rapeseed will become food sources for future space travelers, and clothes can be made from cotton.
People have repeatedly grown plants in space, including zinnias, sunflowers, and greens at the International Space Station. Now, the first seedlings appeared on the Moon - aboard the Chinese Chang'e-4 probe, which made a soft landing on the far side of the Moon, the first seeds brought for scientific experiments sprouted. It is reported South China Morning Post.
The Chinese spacecraft Chang'e-4 sat on the far side of the moon in early January 2019. On board was an 18-centimeter container that contained soil, water, air, cotton seeds, potatoes, a Tal reaper (a plant of the cabbage family), rapeseed, and fruit fly eggs (it was originally planned to send silkworm eggs to the moon).
The first in the experiment to sprout cotton seeds, photos published on Tuesday by the China Space Agency. Professor Liu Hanlong, the head of the experiment, announced the success of the experiment, without specifying when exactly the seeds germinated. According to him, in addition to cotton, rapeseed and potato seeds sprouted.
“We paid attention to future survival in space,” Liu notes. “Data on how these plants behave under low gravity will allow us to lay the foundations for the future creation of a space base.”
It was these species that were selected due to their small size and ability to grow in a confined space. In addition, they are quite resistant to environmental conditions. The container that contains the plants is equipped with a control system that maintains a temperature of about 25 ° C and lighting similar to earth. It reliably protects plants and eggs of flies from temperature extremes and radiation.
Liu explains that the selected plants and insects are producers, consumers and reducers. Producers are producers of food, which all other organisms then eat. Consumers are consumers of organic substances. Reducing agents (destructors) are reducing agents. They return substances from dead organisms again to inanimate nature, decomposing organic matter into simple inorganic compounds and elements.
Thus, the researchers hoped to create a micro-ecosystem on the moon. Thanks to photosynthesis, plants would provide fruit flies with food and oxygen, and yeast would help utilize waste from flies and plants.
Liu notes that potatoes can be a staple food for space explorers, oil can be made from rapeseed, and clothes can be made from cotton.
Earlier, Chang'e-4 sent the first panoramic pictures of the far side of the moon. Pictures were taken using a camera mounted on top of the lander. The probe transmitted images through the Queciao repeater, which is located 455 thousand km from Earth. Due to its location, the relay satellite can “see” both the back of the moon and the earth.
The photographs allowed Chinese scientists to analyze the landscape and terrain around the station.
China launched the Chang'e-4 space station, which will be the first in the history of mankind to explore the back of the moon, December 7, 2018 at 21:20 Moscow time. Chang'e-4 is part of China's lunar program, a continuation and understudy of Chang'e-3.
The Chang'e-4 is equipped with cameras, an infrared spectrometer, ground penetrating radar, a Dutch low-frequency spectrometer, a Swedish device for studying the effects of the solar wind on the moon's surface, and a German neutron dosimeter.
The development of China's lunar program began in 1998 and was officially approved in January 2004, it was called the Chang'e Program in honor of the Chinese goddess Moon Chang'e.
The program is divided into three stages - flights in a lunar orbit, soft landing on the moon and delivery of lunar soil to Earth. As part of the first stage, the Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 stations went to the Moon. As part of the Chang'e-1 mission, it was possible to build a topographic map of the moon, after which the station made a hard landing on a satellite and was destroyed. Chang'e-2 made it possible to choose a suitable place for soft landing of Chang'e-3.
At the second stage of the program, Chang'e-3 station, launched on December 2 of the 2013 of the year, delivered the Yutu lunar rover to the surface of the moon. It was equipped with a georadar and two spectrometers for studying lunar soil. But the mission could not be fully realized - after 40 days, the lunar rover lost mobility, although it continued to work, standing still. On 3 on August 2016, it was announced that Yutu had completed work.
Chang'e-4 became an understudy of Chang'e-3, it faced the same tasks - soft landing on the moon and studying its surface.
The main difference of the mission is that the station for the first time in history sat on the far side of the moon.
A source: https://www.gazeta.ru