Recently, China has harvested the first batch of Space rice.
More about space rice
- Space rice was harvested from seeds that went on a 23-day lunar voyage with China’s Chang’e-5 in November.
- After being exposed to cosmic radiation and zero gravity, these seeds weighing around 40 gram returned and were harvested at the space breeding research centre of the South China Agricultural University in Guangdong province.
- Their length is now about 1 centimeter
- Its first crop has been brought to the earth in the form of seeds.
- As per the space experts the best seeds will be bred in laboratories and then will be planted in fields.
- Rice seeds exposed to the environment in Space may mutate and produce higher yields once planted on Earth.
- This space rice is also hailed as “rice from heaven” and will take at least three to four years before entering the market.
History China’s experiment
- China has been taking seeds of rice and other crops to Space since 1987.
- More than 200 Space plant varieties, including cotton and tomatoes, have been approved for planting.
- In 2018, the total plantation area for space crops approved in China reached more than 2.4 million hectares.
Significance of space breeding
- Space breeding is of great interest to the global scientific community for the impact of microgravity, cosmic rays on organisms from the Earth needs to be explored more.
- With long-term human stays at the space station, researchers are hoping to conduct experiments to test a self-recycling ecosystem in space, which will greatly cut costs and reduce the resources needed for future manned space flights.
- This will support more deep-space explorations, including the building of a lunar research base and manned missions to Mars.
- It is the fifth lunar exploration mission of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, and China’s first lunar sample-return mission.
- It is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e.
- Chang’e-5 mission is the first lunar sample-return mission conducted by humanity in over four decades since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976.