Chang'e 4 sends another trove of images from the Moon's far side

19 January, 2019, 08:34 | Author: Chad Warren
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In an attempt to better understand how plants and animals could grow and live on the lunar surface, Chongqing University equipped the Chang'e 4 lander with a "mini-biosphere" experiment, which is created to be a self-sustaining ecosystem, according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.

Regardless of whether the soil could support plants, the far side of the moon has high mountains, craters and few large, flat areas, said Sun Zezhou, chief designer of the Chang'e-4 lunar lander. While astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been growing and consuming lettuce in space for a few years now, China has achieved a historic milestone by sprouting cotton seeds on the surface of the Moon.

China's space agency, China National Space Administration, has just revealed a new photo showing a cotton seed that the Chang'e-4 probe brought to the Moon sprouting.

"We have given consideration to future survival in space", he said. But at a news conference this week, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of CNSA, said the two space agencies shared data related to the recent moon landing.

Chang'e-5, which will launch at the end of this year, will return a sample from the near side of the Moon.

The self-reliant biosphere housed within China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander includes a supply of air, water, and varied nutrients needed to allow the plants to grow. The mission's architects say the experiments could help lay a foundation for one day establishing a lunar base. These images, captured by a camera aboard the Chang'e 4 lander, reveal never-before-seen details of the far side of the Moon.

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The ability to grow food on the moon would be important if humanity ever attempts to make good on the sci-fi dream of building a crewed lunar base.

The China National Space Administration's lunar lander, seen on January 11.

A small green shoot is growing on the moon in an out-of-this-world first after a cotton seed germinated on board a Chinese lunar lander, scientists said Tuesday.

Now, the China National Space Administration and its probe have completed another first.

China last tried to send a craft to Mars in 2012 - the Yinghuo mission - but the spacecraft carrying it disintegrated as it failed to get into orbit around Earth.

In the biosphere, the plants are shielded from harmful radiation, and the temperature is maintained artificially, since the moon lacks a sufficient atmosphere to block radiation from space or to regulate heat.



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