The cotton plant that recently sprouted on the moon by China has recently died.
The short-lived life was due to the intense cold temperatures that set in at night, which are around -170C. However, according to The Guardian, this was an expected result of the experiment as said by Prof Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University, who led the design.
The experiment lasted for around two weeks but came to an unfortunate end just a day after China announced the news to the world.
The plants, as well as the seeds, are simply going to decompose in the enclosed container. According to the China National Space Administration, this means that the environment of the moon will not be affected by the process.
While the current hope for a tiny terrarium to form on the moon has now died, the canister was packed with fruit fly eggs, potato seeds, yeast, and rock cress. The overall idea of this was to have a micro-ecosystem in a closed container on the moon. The idea is simple, the plants would provide oxygen for the insects, which would, in turn, produce carbon dioxide for the plants. As for the food situation, it would have been the yeast acting as a food source for the flies. If this was to have happened, China would have hit two amazing targets with one stone. The first being, landing on the far side of the moon and the second would be enabling some basic form of life to form on it.
It’s clear that under certain conditions, a mild form of plant life is capable of surviving on the moon. Now, this doesn’t mean that the world is ready to jump on the train of colonizing Earth’s natural satellite but it is, in fact, a step in the right direction.
All in all, this was a decent experiment that saw some good results in the form of a plant surviving for a short while and possibly creating a small ecosystem in a closed environment with the help of the sun. It eventually came to an abrupt end when the chilly night set in on our moon and basically killed off any form of life that could survive in the canister.