China becomes 1st nation to grow biological life on the Moon

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Despite some climate challenges, such as the Moon's changing temperatures, Chinese state media posted a picture of the cotton seeds on Tuesday, and said the seeds were sprouting.

Pictures sent back January 12 showed plant shoots growing well nine days after the experiment was initiated, Chongqing University, which led the biological project, said in a briefing Tuesday. Yeast, fruit flies, and rock cress were also sent aboard Chang'e-4 as part of an experiment to investigate growth in low-gravity environments.

The biopsy test load carried cotton, canola, potato, Arabidopsis, yeast and fruit fly.

China took a major step in its ambition to achieve space superpower status when it became the first nation to land a probe on the far side of the moon on January 3.

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.

Space fans who have been following the Chinese Chang'e 4 mission might have thought they knew everything about the mission at this point. The Chinese space agency said four more lunar missions are planned, confirming the launch of a probe by the end of the year to bring back samples from the moon.

The lead scientist for China's lunar project revealed on Tuesday that U.S. space scientists had asked permission to use China's Chang'e 4 spacecraft and relay satellite to help them plan an American mission to the far side of the moon.

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Just needed to make some better swings. "I'm feeling a little letdown right now", said Putnam, who earned $691,200. He was in no hurry to leave, and plans to stay in Hawaii for another two weeks with his wife and two sons.

China's People's Daily called it "the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the Moon".

China is energetically expanding its space program. China set up a relay satellite in May to receive communication from Chang'e 4.

The canister containing China's Chang'e lunar biosphere experiment on the Moon.

Yutu-2, China's lunar rover, leaves wheel marks as it moves away from the lander that touched down on the far side of the Moon. The mission's architects say the experiments could help lay a foundation for one day establishing a lunar base.

Fred Watson, Australian Astronomical Observatory's astronomer-at-large, told the BBC the development was "good news".

The Chang'e 4 mission is also set to discover if there is water at the Moon's poles.