Global One (G1)— Two new firsts for China’s Chang’e-4 probe as the probe grew the first ever plants on the moon — which then became the first plants to die on the moon.
The lunar lander made it to the far side of the moon on Jan. 3 and was designed to conduct a number of scientific tasks, including searching for water.
Researchers wanted to see if future lunar explorers would be able to grow their own food, so they brought along seeds for potatoes, cotton and rock cress.
On Jan. 15, history was made when the cotton seeds began to sprout.
However, the sprouts — which were reportedly relying on the sunlight for growth — did not last the lunar night.
Nights on the moon last roughly two weeks and temperatures can drop to -274 Fahrenheit.
One of the researchers for the experiment said, “We had no such experience before. And we could not simulate the lunar environment, such as microgravity and cosmic radiation, on earth.”