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The cotton spire on the moon has gone




(newser)

Just a day after announcing that it had successfully germinated a cotton plant aboard a probe on the moon's surface, the Chinese government said Wednesday that the plant died with the start of the freckled moon night, Guardian . Night temperatures on the moon can drop to -280 degrees Fahrenheit, and the night can last for two weeks. Nevertheless, the short-lived experiment is perceived Newsweek as a historical achievement. "Of course, plants have been cultivated in the orbit of the earth," says David Grinspoon of the planet science magazine. "But there is a symbolic strength in the fact that these are the first plants to grow in another world."

In addition to the cotton seeds, the experiment allegedly included potato seed, rock cress seeds and yeast along with fruit fly in a sealed container. Scientists hoped that a micro-ecosystem would be created. None of the other seeds seemed to germinate, and the Chinese room bureau did not say if the fruit flies out, Guardian . The agency says the items in the container will break down over time, and as the container is sealed, they will not contaminate the lunar environment. Speaks to Newsweek says Grinspoon: "I suppose this biosphere aspect of human space occupation will be much harder than engineers believe", but he adds: "Growing a plant on the moon is a tiptoe in that direction. "(This amazing shot of the Earth was taken from 70 million miles away.)

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