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rsities, led by southwest China's Chongqing University, a conference on scientific and technological innovation of Chongqing Municipalit▓y has heard.The cylindrical tin, made from special aluminum alloy materials, ▓is 18 cm tall, with a diameter of 16 cm, a net volume of 0.8 liters and a weight of 3 kilogra▓ms. The tin will also contain water, a nut▓rient solution, air and equipment such as a small camera and data transmission system.Researchers hope the seeds will grow to blossom on the Moon, with the process captured on camera and tra▓nsmitted to Earth.Although astronauts have c



▓ultivated plants on the International Space Station, and rice and arabidopsis were grown on China's Tiangong-2 space lab, those experiments were conducted in low-Earth orbit, at an altitude of about 400 kilometers. The environment on the Moon, 380,000 kilometers from the Ea▓rth, is more complicated.Liu Hanlong, chief ▓director of the experiment and vice president of Chongqing University, said since the Moon has ▓no atmosphere, its temperature ranges from lower than minus 100 degrees centigrade to higher than 100 degrees centig▓rade."We have to keep the temperatu▓re in the 'mini

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biosphere' within a range from ▓1 degree to 30 degrees, and properly control the humid▓ity and nutrition. We will use a tube to direct the natura▓l light on the surface of Moon into the tin to make the plants grow," said Xie Gengx▓in, chief designer of the experiment."We want to study the respiration of the seeds and the photosynth▓esis on the Moon," said Liu."Why potato and arabidopsis? Because the growth period of arabidopsis is short and convenient to observe. And potato could become a major source of food for future spac▓e travelers," said Liu. "Our experiment might help accumulate knowledge for building a lunar base and long-term residence on the Moon."The public, especially young people, are being encouraged to participate in the Chang'e-4 mission. The C▓hina National Space Administration (CNSA) l▓aunched a contest among students across China in 2016,▓ collecting ideas on the design of the payloads.The "lunar mini biosphere" exper▓iment was selected from more than 200 submissions, according to the CNSA.Tidal forces of the Earth have slowed the Moon's rotation to the point where the same side always faces the Earth, a phenomenon called tidal locking. The other face, most of which is never visible from the Earth, is the far side of the Moon.With its special environment and compl▓ex geological history, the far side is a hot spot for scient▓ific and space exploration. However, landing and▓ roving there requires a relay sate▓llite to transmit signals.It has been reported that China p▓lans to send a relay satellite for Chang'e-4 to the halo orbit of the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point L2 in late May o▓r early June 2018, and then launch the Chang'e-4 lunar lander and rover to the ▓Aitken Basin of the south pole region of the Moon about half a year later.The Von Karman Crater, named after a H

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ungarian-Americ▓an mathematician, aerospace engineer and physicist▓, in the Aitken Basin, was chosen as the l▓anding site for Chang'e-4. The regi▓on is believed to have great scientific research potential.The transmission channel is limited, and ▓the landscape rugged, so the mission will be more complicated than Chang'e-3, China's first soft landing on the Moon in 2013, said Liu Tongjie, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Spac▓e Program Center of CNSA.As the relay satellite will b▓e sent to the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point L2 about 450,000 kilometers from the Earth, where a gravitation▓al equilibrium can be maintained, it could stay in stable orbit and operate for a long time."We will make efforts to enable the relay satelli▓te to work as long as possible to serve ▓other probes, including those from other countr▓ies," said Ye Peijian, a leading Chinese aerospace expert and consultant to China's lunar

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