China Gets Its First Aerospace Rice Crop | Digital Trends Spanish
China’s landmark Chang’e 5 lunar mission was not only able to bring the first samples of the Moon to Earth in more than four decades, but also achieved another milestone in the space race.
The Chinese Lunar Research Program (CLEP) revealed that during the Chang’e 5 mission it achieved its first aerospace rice crop.
The agency under the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) published images of rice seeds with sprouts, after having spent 22 days in space.
The seeds were inside a special container in the returner and were recovered on December 17, 2020, upon return from the mission to Earth.
Mutagenesis in deep space
According to China, the deep space mutagenesis experiment represents a milestone in space crop research, especially to determine how seeds behave.
Given that during the 22 days they spent in space they were exposed to cosmic radiation and zero gravity, scientists seek to determine if this could cause any mutation.
For example, they seek to establish whether the seeds will have a higher yield or a better quality when they are replanted on Earth.
In addition to rice, there were also orchid seeds, alfalfa and oats inside the shuttle.
The 2020 lunar mission was one of China’s boldest since it put a man in space in 2003 and is part of the Asian giant’s space offensive.
In July 2020, it became one of three countries to launch a mission to Mars, along with the United States and the United Arab Emirates.