There Will Be No Gardens on the Moon
BEIJING – January 18, 2019
Mankind had only just begun to enjoy the first plants grown on the moon’s surface (in the bio bin space probe “Chang’e-4”). China’s Chang’e-4 lunar probe carried the makings of an experimental biosphere when it landed on the far side of the moon on January 3. Almost immediately, the Chinese said that there were signs of life from among its payload of six organisms – cotton, potatoes, Arabidopsis (rockcress), rapeseed, fruit fly pupae, and yeast. However, after a few days, the sad news came from Chinese scientists: All of the lunar plants died. The experiment was terminated.
The main designer of the experiment, Professor Gensini Xie (Xie Gengxin) from Chongqing University explained that a battery was not included in the scope of the biocontainer (probably due to restrictions on weight). So the germs were killed in the moonlit night, when the temperature inside the compartment with the plants dropped to -70°F.
Earlier, the professor claimed that the container is designed with battery heating based on the experiment’s 100-day duration.