The seeds only began growing once ground control singled to the probe to begin hydrating them and the cotton seed became the first-ever lunar sprout (plants have been grown on board the ISS, of course).
The ruling Communist Party's official mouthpiece the People's Daily tweeted an image of the sprouted seed, saying it marked "the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the Moon".
Alongside them in a seven-inch bucket in the lander's cargo are rapeseed, potato and arabidopsis seeds, as well as yeast, fruit fly eggs, air and water.
"This is the first time humans have conducted biological growth experiments on the lunar surface", he said. "The drosophila melanogaster, as consumers, and yeast, as decomposers, would generate carbon dioxide by consuming oxygen for photosynthesis of plants".More news: Mobile’s Netflix On Us will cover the cost of Netflix price increase
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Prof Xie Gengxin, the experiment's chief designer, was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post: "We have given consideration to future survival in space".
The seeds and eggs were kept dormant as the probe traveled through space.
Charles Cockell, a professor of astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, told Newsweek that the latest achievement is "very significant" because it shows a proof of concept for growing plants on the moon. China has big ambitions of becoming a comparable top-tier space power with plans to send a crewed mission to the moon (the last one came in 1972) and to establish a research base there someday.
The state-run China Daily said that was the first such form of cooperation since the 2011 U.S. law was enacted. The series of missions will also lay the groundwork for the construction of a lunar research base, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities. "From a purely technical point of view, the seeds are the first living material to be deliberately grown on another planetary body, and that's a significant milestone".