China’s Moon Cotton Experiment Comes to an End

China Moon Cotton Experiment
Chongquing University

Earlier this month, Chinese space agency made a successful landing on the far side of the moon. The Chinese lunar probe was in news once again a few days back, when a cotton seed, which was sent on the moon along with other different seeds like potato and Arabidopsis seeds and also, fruit fly eggs and yeast, as a part of experiment successfully germinated inside a special canister. But, now according to the reports, China’s Lunar Lander historic experiment comes to an end due to some conditions.

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The whole experiment was started when China’s robotic spacecraft Chang’e-4 landed to the moon, and scientist tried to create a mini biosphere contains the different seed from different crops including fruit fly egg and yeast. The mini biosphere needs to be created in an 18 cm tall, 3 kg canister that was designed by 28 Chinese universities, but surprisingly only cotton seed sprouted.

China Moon Cotton Experiment
Chongquing University

According to the Chongqing University, designer of the experiment, temperatures inside the mini biosphere were expected to dive below -52 degrees Celsius ( or -61.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and the organisms will go in a frozen state. But, since the starting of the experiment, the first lunar night took place and the temperature of the environment plunged to -170 degrees Celsius ( or -274 degrees Fahrenheit), which resulted in the termination of the experiment hours before the Chang’e-4 was scheduled to enter the sleep mode, as the organism in the canister wouldn’t survive the unexpected temperature drops.

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The deep freezing temperature lunar nights will last for more than two weeks, and according to a statement, the probe is expected to wake up from sleep mode after that.

Four more lunar missions are being planned by China’s space agency, one of them will be launched at the end of the year to bring back the samples from the moon.