BEIJING: A photograph released on Tuesday by China’s National Space Administration showed seeds, carried by China’s Chang’e-4 moon probe, sprouting on the far side of the moon.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 15, 2019
The cottonseed sprouts became the first biological matter to grow on the moon and according to the probe’s biological experiment payload’s chief designer, was laying the foundation for a lunar base and long-term space exploration.
The Chang’e-4 lunar probe landed on January 3 and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon. China’s National Space Administration applauded the launch as a first that “lifted the mysterious veil” of the far side of the moon and claimed it as a major achievement for the country’s ambitious space program.
The tasks of the Chang’e-4 include astronomical observation, surveying the moon’s terrain and mineral makeup and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment of its far side.