With China leading the world innovation there’s nothing we cannot expect, China has gone from breeding tech for huge pigs to supplement its pork shortages to planting a plant that sprouted leaves on the moon.
In January 2019, China made history when it landed its Chang’e-4 spacecraft on the far side of the moon. The mission was the first of its kind to experiment with growing plants on the moon, and it brought to the lunar surface a mini-biosphere called the Lunar Micro Ecosystem (LME) to grow the crops and nurture them. The conditions within this small, cylindrical biosphere were similar to those on Earth, besides the microgravity and cosmic radiation which were taken into consideration while building it so not going to affect the plant’s growth cycles. The LME contained: potato seeds, cotton seeds, rapeseeds, yeast, fruit fly eggs, Arabidopsis thaliana, a common weed. All of these died quickly, except the cotton. Now, a new 3D reconstruction has shown that the cotton plant grew not one, but two leaves before dying due to the cold temperatures after about two weeks which went unnoticed at first observations. The results suggest that the experiment was more successful than initially thought and now is a phenomenal feat. The leader of China’s epoch-making experiment, Xie Gengxin of the Advanced Technology Research Institute at Chongqing University, doesn’t have any plans to publish any scientific papers based on this research. But we hope that he continues studying how various lifeforms might be able to survive on the moon.
This is how China is leading the tech in the space agriculture field which has not seen a breakthrough although it has been trying very hard for the past decade to make this possible. China has again proved that it has worked wonders in silence with now success making the noise.