Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, January 06, 2019

China's Chang'e-4 lander touched down on the far side of the moon (Jan. 3 Beijing time, Jan. 2 US), and it's got some living things on board. A small "tin" in the lander contains seeds of potatoes and rockcress (Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, as well as a model organism for plant biology), as well as silkworm eggs. The idea, according to a report in The Telegraph earlier this year, is that the plants will support the silkworms with oxygen, and the silkworms will in turn provide the plants with necessary carbon dioxide and nutrients through their waste. The researchers will watch the plants carefully to see whether the plants successfully perform photosynthesis, and grow and bloom in the lunar environment.

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The "biosphere" experiment was the product of a collaboration between 28 Chinese universities, led by southwest China's Chongqing University, according to Xinhua. The experiment, which is tucked inside a 1.4-pint (0.8 liters) aluminum alloy cylinder, weighs about 7 lbs. (3 kilograms) and includes dirt, nutrients and water. Sunlight will filter into the container through a "tube," and small cameras will watch the little environment. That data will beam back to Earth by means of the complicated relay system China has set up to communicate with an experiment that has no direct line of sight to Earth.

"Why potato and Arabidopsis? Because the growth period of Arabidopsis is short and convenient to observe. And potato could become a major source of food for future space travelers," said Liu Hanlong, chief director of the experiment and vice president of Chongqing University, as reported by Xinhua. "Our experiment might help accumulate knowledge for building a lunar base and long-term residence on the moon."

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"Our experiment might help accumulate knowledge for building a lunar base and long-term residence on the moon."

Moon Base. All your base are belong to us. Now we talking.

#1 | Posted by tonytripoli at 2019-01-06 01:25 AM | Reply

Nobody gives a crap, Tremain.

#2 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-01-06 01:29 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

There was life on the light side of the moon nearly a half century ago.

And it was sentient, mobile and capable of collecting and returning lunar samples for in depth analysis.

China is second rate ----.

#3 | Posted by jpw at 2019-01-06 02:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Guys. Whatever this is it isn't about China thumbing it's nose at the west. It's about science.

I don't get the anti-China hostility.

#4 | Posted by tonytripoli at 2019-01-06 01:00 PM | Reply

Something smells fishy here, but I don't quite get it. Got issues with story....

#5 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-01-06 06:14 PM | Reply

Sunlight will filter into the container through a "tube,"

Oh. Okay, it's clicking now. "Dark side of the Moon" + "Sunlight".

k. Got it.

#6 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-01-06 06:16 PM | Reply

"Something smells fishy here, but I don't quite get it. Got issues with story...." - #5 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-01-06 06:14 PM

Sounds familiar...

No. I cant. I swear to God I am not making this up.

Guys, I'm going on vacation for a little while. I know who to talk to. This reminds of when a virus started turning my posts into anti-NATO rants on another blog.

I was like "Wait, I didn't type that". But this is darker.

#46 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-08-25 01:28 AM

#7 | Posted by Hans at 2019-01-06 06:16 PM | Reply

I swear to Allah they do this stuff just to laugh at us. But you gotta love their sense of humor.

#8 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-01-06 06:30 PM | Reply

"Dark side of the Moon" + "Sunlight".

The dark side gets exactly the same amount of sunlight as the light side. It just doesn't get any earthlight.

#9 | Posted by tonytripoli at 2019-01-07 08:15 AM | Reply

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