“Mysterious travelers” of Chongqing University on Chang’e 4
Six “mysterious travelers” (Picture provided by Chongqing University)
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Recently, the world's first close-up shot of the far side of the moon sent back by Chang’e 4 lunar probe through Queqiao (Magpie Bridge) Lunar Relay Satellite caused a sensation throughout the globe. Do you know the subjects “Made in Chongqing” on Chang’e 4? According to Chongqing University, the Biological Popular Science Test Loads Project (hereinafter referred to as Popular Science Loads) which is embarked on Chang’e 4 and led by Chongqing University, carried biological growth experiments on the back of the moon to construct an experiment of space ecosystem.
The project of Chongqing University stood out from nearly 300 works in “Creative Design Collection Activity of Loads for Lunar Exploration” toward the nation, which was identified as one of the carrying projects by the end of 2016.
Photo of popular science loads (Picture provided by Chongqing University)
Six “mysterious travelers” travel to space
This biological module development of popular science loads was undertaken by the astrobiology research team of the School of Life Sciences of Chongqing University. Six “mysterious travelers” were carried on the popular science loads. What are they?
Participants of the project (Picture provided by Chongqing University)
The 6 travelers are potato, rape, cotton, arabidopsis, fruit fly and yeast. Among them, plants produce oxygen and food for all creatures to "consume". The consumer fruit fly and the decomposer yeast produce carbon dioxide for plants to conduct photosynthesis by consuming oxygen. In addition, yeast can grow by decomposing plants and waste of fruit fly. It can also be the food for fruit fly. After this recycle, a mini-ecosystem is formed, consisting of producer, consumer and decomposer.
The requirements of biological species selection this time are quite strict. Because of the limited resources in the “container”, the animals and plants inside are not allowed to take up too much space. The primary condition for these “travelers” should be small in size. Then, because the low gravity, strong radiation, high temperature difference and other extreme conditions on the surface of the moon, animals and plants are required to withstand high temperature, cold and resist radiation and interference. (Translated by Mao Qiao, Fathom Language Limited)