NASA had sent the first man to the moon and had diverted its attention to the colonization of Mars, but America wants it to return to the moon. In this context, the achievement of china is a notable development because it is the latest entrant in the field and has shown that it has no dearth of ideas. It landed its lunar rover Jade Rabbit 2 and explorer Chang'e 4 on the far side of the moon and had begun its planned programs.

One of these is to check the feasibility of sprouting seeds there, which is a success.

Sky New reports the Chang'e 4 lander brought with it a range of seeds. It was a pioneering effort and the first ever biological experiment undertaken on the moon. The result is positive because the seeds have begun to sprout. The next step is to monitor the progress and watch for signs of leaves appearing. If the sprouts thrive and if leaves appear, it will be a milestone.

The Chinese National Space Administration

By selecting a landing site on the far side of the moon, the Chinese National Space Administration has shown that it wants to explore uncharted territories. The tasks identified for its Chang'e 4 lander will also be unlike missions of NASA and others. The proof is in the sprouting of seeds. They have made a start, and if the seeds go beyond the germination stage and leaves appear, it will be a major achievement.

Scientists have grown plants on the International Space Station but doing it in the lunar atmosphere will be a different kettle of fish.

Apart from cottonseeds, the Chang'e 4 lander has items like potato seeds, yeast, fruit fly eggs, air and water.

Obviously, there are a number of options available to conduct experiments and criterion for selection of the items were their adaptabilities to harsh conditions like extremes of temperatures and radiation. Incidentally, China is upbeat about its successful moon mission and has its eyes on Mars. They could be sending a spacecraft next year followed by manned missions.

China’s experiment will help future space missions

According to BBC, China has been able to sprout seeds on the moon.

This initial success of China is good news for future humans who will go to Mars. The journey would take about two-and-a-half years, and they could now be in a position to harvest their own food in space. That will be a big advantage because they will not have to depend on supplies from the Earth. In the opinion of Fred Watson, an Australian astronomer-at-large, using the moon as a staging post for flights to Mars will be helpful since it is near to the Earth.

The cargo of Chang'e 4 lander consisted of basic ingredients for plants to survive in an alien atmosphere which were packed in a sealed container. The experiment envisages the formation of “an artificial, self-sustaining environment.”

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