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A little green shoot on the Moon

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:51 am
by brian livesey
A small cotton plant shoot has sprouted on board China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander. "This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface," said Xie Gengxin, team leader for the design of the experiment, at the Advanced Technology Research Institute at Chongqing University.
The sprout has emerged from a lattice framework inside a canister. It is regarded as a significant step in the goal of achieving long-term manned space exploration. Fred Watson, of the Australian Astronomical Observatory, said of the experiment: "It suggests that there might not be insurmountable problems for astronauts in future trying to grow their own crops on the Moon in a controlled environment."
China's National Space Administration (CNSA) has four more Moon missions planned, including Chang'e 5, to be launched later this year. This will be the first probe since 1970 ( Russia's Luna 16 ) to return to Earth with lunar samples. "There will be another three missions after Chang'e 5," said Wu Yanhua, the deputy head of the CNSA.

Re: A little green shoot on the Moon

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:10 pm
by skyhawk
well................it isn't really that much to write home about, they have been growing plants on ISS for years, and it isn't as if it uses anything actually "lunar" like soil

Re: A little green shoot on the Moon

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:22 pm
by Brian
skyhawk wrote:well................it isn't really that much to write home about, they have been growing plants on ISS for years, and it isn't as if it uses anything actually "lunar" like soil
I agree . However, I think a "proof of concept" had to be shown. Growing mature plants in the lunar soil may prove to be much more problematic :mrgreen:

regards,

Re: A little green shoot on the Moon

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:55 am
by mike a feist
A follow-up report, I believe says that the seedlings had died. Regards maf.

Re: A little green shoot on the Moon

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:48 pm
by brian livesey
R.I.P. .

Re: A little green shoot on the Moon

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:16 am
by mike a feist
Perhaps they might have had better results had they tried "Lunaria" (lunaria annual) which produces those round moonlike pods or even the fern "Moonwort" (botrychium lunaria)!! Ha ha! regards maf.

Re: A little green shoot on the Moon

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:39 pm
by David Frydman
Apparently the Moon's surface goes from a maximum of about 200F to a minimum of minus 200F.
But the Moon astronauts were there at dawn so didn't experience very big temperature changes.

It would seem that reasonable steady heat would be needed to grow plants on the Moon.
I wonder if this could be provided simply.

Moonshine might be a byproduct. :)

Regards,
David