(ORDO NEWS) — The seeds of two plants in China’s Wentian laboratory space module have sprouted and are now in good condition, according to a briefing on the progress of plant-growing experiments on the country’s space station, Xinhua news agency reported Aug. 29.
Samples of seeds from two plants, Tal and rice, were placed in the experimental cabinet of the laboratory module, which went into space in July.
The space growing experiments were launched on July 29 following instructions from the ground. The rhubarb seedlings have grown several leaves, and the rice seedlings have grown to a height of about 30 cm.
Later, experiments will be carried out on their life cycle to obtain cosmic seeds, the briefing said.
The country has successfully obtained space succulent seeds in its previous life cycle experiment in space, said Zheng Huiqiong, a researcher at the Center of Excellence in Plant Molecular Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Zheng added that the Wentian Lab Rice Life Cycle Experiment will be successful and provide theoretical guidance for space grain production.
Plant growth in space faces problems such as delayed flowering, low seed set rates and declining seed quality, and only a few crops such as rapeseed, wheat and peas have completed seed experiments in space, Zheng said.
History of the question
The English historian, philosopher Francis Bacon in the 16th century expressed the opinion that science should give man power over nature and thereby improve his life, adding that science should take its rightful place in the “kingdom of man.”
In fact, he laid the foundations of scientific research, his famous aphorism Scientia potentia est (“Knowledge is power”) is known.
The first explorers appeared in the 19th century.
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