Plant Sprouts but Fails to Grow on Moon

Sophia Acuna, Author

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The good news is a plant has successfully sprouted on the moon for the first time ever. The bad news is it died after nine days.

China sent a lunar lander to the moon on January 3. The lunar lander had a special container with 6 different types of organisms: cottonseed, potato, rapeseed, mouse-ear cress, yeast, and fruit fly eggs. The experiment was to see whether or not plants could grow in a low-gravity environment.

The plant in the probe on January 7.

After landing, the system automatically began watering the seedlings and less than a week later, a cotton plant had sprouted. This marked the very first time humans have successfully grown plants on the moon–but unfortunately, it didn’t last very long.

The designer of the experiment, professor Xie Gengxin, had to shut down the experiment after just nine days. Temperatures inside the biosphere had become too erratic and would likely kill all life.

Although the mission might seem to be a failure, there are some good things to come out of this. The plant might have died before it could fully grow, but it still sprouted, a first for humankind. And, the landing of the lunar probe became the first successful mission to the far side of the moon.