Following China’s successful landing to the far side of the moon earlier this January , Chinese scientists admitted that the cotton plants, the first plants that sprouted in the moon already died last Jan 17.
It died days after China revealed that the cotton seed already sprouted and would possibly be the first plant to grow in the moon. It wasn’t able to survive the freezing lunar temperature.
Last Jan 3, the seeds were inside a container in China’s Chang’e 4 probe,which also contained potato seeds, arabidopsis seeds, yeast and fruit fly eggs. It was filled with soil, water and air, creating a lunar biosphere.
The goal of the experiment is to know how well the plants would react to the moon’s high-radiation, low gravity environment. They hope that through this experiment, It be will known if the moon can somehow be turned into a farm to grow food. After landing, the biosphere will automatically raise the seeds and hatch fruit fly eggs.
The experiment ended after nine days when the team turned off the power, according to the experiment’s designer Professor Xie Gengxin .He said temperatures in the biosphere became so unpredictable and reached extremes that would eventually kill all living organisms.
Even though they have two temperature controlling plates, The moon’s temperature was still above 30 degrees celcisus (86 fahrenheit) around 10:30 am ,as a result most plants won’t be able to sprout.
Although the experiment ended sooner than expected, (it was intended to last 100 days) he still considered it as a success.
Aside from this experiment, China’s other mission to discover the unseen side of the moon is currently progressing positively. The Yutu 2 rover transmits images and other data from the formerly undiscovered side of the moon. It’s goal is to accomplish a set of tasks, which includes the first lunar low-frequency radio astronomy experiment and to verify if there is water at the moon’s poles.