China, the absolute maniac, is successfully growing a goddamn plant on the Moon for the very first time in human history.
Announced via a tweet yesterday afternoon, cotton seeds have sprouted inside a small biosphere which was carried to the far side of the moon by China’s Chang’e-4 lunar lander. As you can see below, that bad boy is growing like a champ.
The seeds started growing not long after craft’s January 3 landing, which was also the first to ever touch down on the far side of the moon.
The soil containing the blessed Moon cotton is sealed inside an airtight container worth an estimated $1.8 million, designed to facilitate growth in some downright stupid conditions, like the airless dirtball that is the Moon, for example. It also has potato and arabidopsis seeds, but they’re yet to show visible signs of germination.
Beyond plant matter, the expensive biosphere also contains fruit fly and silkworm eggs which are hoped to hatch at some point soon. While plants and insects have certainly been studied in space before, this marks the first time anything has been grown on the Moon, so it’s a fairly big deal.
Hell yeah to space plants and hell yeah to the flies and moths doomed to live out a life in a container on the fucking Moon.