On Jan. 7, China’s space agency released pictures of cotton seeds beginning to grow on the Chang’e 4 lander. It was gown in a protective capsule their protective capsule. The cotton seeds sprouted inside of a container as part of the lunar mini-biosphere experiment aboard the lander. But in a week (approx. 213 hours) the experiment is over and the plants are dead, this plant could not survive the freezing temperatures on the lunar surface. The cotton plant’s demise was caused by the freezing temperatures that washed over as day turned to nighttime on the moon
With controlled humidity, air, water, and nutrients, this container was specifically designed to keep these organisms alive. But the lunar surface is an extreme place for any living thing to grow. From the low gravity to the high radiation levels and extreme temperatures that can swing wildly from about minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit at night to 250 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime.
Images Credit: cnet