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Xie Gengxin, dean of Institute of Advanced Technology at Chongqing University, and the chief designer of the experiment, praised the achievement on the university's blog.

Experts say that the latest accomplishment-which builds on the work of astronauts who have previously grown plants on the International Space Station-is a substantial boost for humanity's hopes of accomplishing long-term space exploration.

The plans underscore China's ambitions in space at a time when the United States is curtailing NASA's budget and increasingly handing over space exploration to commercial adventurers, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Cotton seeds carried to the moon by a Chinese probe have sprouted, marking what could be the first plant to ever grow there, according to Chinese government images.

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It would mean that astronauts could potentially harvest their own food in space, reducing the need to come back down to Earth to resupply.

Chang'e-8 mission will conduct scientific experiments and test important technologies needed to construct a science and research base on the Moon.

Lunar rover Jade Rabbit 2 and explorer Chang'e 4 landed on the moon in recent days and have now taken pictures of each other for scientists to study. It contains soil and cotton, rape, arabidopsis and potato seeds. Since the orbiting cycle of the Moon and the rotation cycle is the same, therefore only one side of the moon is visible from the earth, and most of its side can not be seen.

Being able to grow food makes the idea of using the moon as a base for Mars exploration more viable.

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UK Defense Ministry has ordered army reservists to be placed on standby to quell potential unrest from a no-deal Brexit. May, who leads a fractious government, a divided Parliament and a gridlocked Brexit process, said she was staying put.

The Chang'e 4 probe, led by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), successfully performed the first soft landing on the Moon's far side on January 3. - China will seek to establish an worldwide lunar base one day, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said on January 14, weeks after landing the rover on the moon's far side.

A series of moves by China is likely to fuel competition with the U.S. in lunar exploration. The telemetry information and images taken by a camera on the probe showed that the spacecraft effectively avoided obstacles during its descent.

Weeks later, it's made headlines again, for another world first.

The cylindrical canister, in which the seeds were kept, also had fruit fly eggs and yeast to create a simple bio sphere inside.

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