China succeeds in cultivating cotton, potatoes and turnips in the moon
Chinese space program officials announced the success of cotton cultivation on the moon, saying it would help establish the first human colony on the moon.
They said cotton seeds carried by the Chinese Chang E4 probe (whose name symbolizes the Chinese lunar goddesses) to the dim side of the moon grew in the lunar soil for the first time in history.
An image released Tuesday by the China National Space Administration showed cotton and other plants grown on the moon.
The Chang-4 probe was carrying as it landed on the dark side of the moon on the third of this month quantities of scientific research materials, including a container called the "miniature environmental circle of the moon."
Professor Liu Hanlong, who is in charge of the experiment, said cotton seeds were the first seeds to grow, adding that the seeds of potatoes and turnips also grow well.
Six of the neighborhoods selected for transmission to the moon were cotton, potatoes, turnips, yeast, fruit flies and watercress, said Shi Gengchen, chief designer of the project.
"We have taken into account the possibility of living in space in the future, and learning how to grow these neighborhoods in a low gravity environment will allow us to lay the foundation stone for future space bases," he said.
He added that the container in which the seeds are located is equipped with a control system that ensures that the temperature stays within it at about 25 degrees Celsius.
For his part, Liu said potatoes could be the main food source for future space explorers, while cotton could be used for clothing. Rapeseed can be a source of oil.
China's National Space Administration said on Monday that China plans to establish a scientific base for research on the moon in the future, taking advantage of the three-dimensional printing technology.