A cotton bud, born of a seed taken on the dark side of the moon by a Chinese mission, became the first plant to be born in a celestial body that is not Earth, the Spanish Space Agency (CNSA) reported published the first pictures of the outbreak.
The Asian country made an important step through the Chang-e-4 mission: a film shows the outbreak guarded in a small greenhouse near potato seeds, canola and Arabidopsis – flower plant – yeast and fruit bite eggs (melanogaster Drosophila).
The experiment was carried out inside a sealed container, where the temperature is maintained between 1 and 30 degrees Celsius; that is, well above normal satellite conditions that vary between -123 degrees Celsius and 153 degrees.
The objective of the experiment, designed by 28 Chinese universities, is to recreate a small biosphere, an artificial and autonomous ecosystem, to test the possibility of growing fruit and vegetables on other planets to preserve future human colonies.
In fact, the intention is to use cotton to make clothes, while potatoes could be a source of food for astronauts, and canola could be used to make oil.
Seeds, Chinese news agencies reported, have undergone biological treatment to remain latent during the 20 days of Earth-to-Moon travel.
Its growth began when the control center on Earth sent a water supply order.
For a team of scientists at Chongqing University, this harvest is the first successful mini-experiment on the biosphere. In the space dedicated to germination there is water, nutrients and natural light from Earth's natural satellite, Xinhua said.
In turn, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong today reported that the container in which the seeds germinated is an 18 cm aluminum cylinder and 16 in diameter, weighs 3 kilograms and costs more than US $ 1, 47 million.
"Learning to grow these plants in a low-gravity environment will allow us to lay the foundations for the subsequent creation of a space base," the professor said. Xie Gengxin, who designed this project, quoted by the Ansa agency. However, the conditions are not perfect for these crops because Moon temperatures may exceed 100 degrees Celsius during the day and may drop to 100 below zero at night.
In addition, the satellite receives more solar radiation and has a lower severity: one hundred of what is on Earth. The Changes poll carried cotton seeds, rapeseed, potato and arabidopsis seeds in a closed container, as well as fruit eggs and some yeast, to form a simple minibiose, according to a team led by researchers at the University of California. Chongqing. Plants would generate oxygen and food, so other living beings "consume".
Drosophila melanogaster, as well as consumers, and yeast, as decomposition, would generate carbon dioxide by consuming oxygen for plant photosynthesis. In addition, yeast can decompose plant debris and melanogaster drosophila and can grow and can also serve as food for drosophila melanogaster. (Télam-Europa Press)