The scientific community has been rather excited when China's lunar probe, Chang'e 5, has successfully acquired some "young" lunar samples from Earth's closest neighbor and also successfully sent the samples back to Earth, making it only the third time for a country to do so.
Analyzing the Lunar Soil Samples
After the lunar samples are back here on Earth, Chinese scientists have begun analyzing the samples, which are rather younger for a million years compared to the samples acquired by both the United States and Russia.
In a past report by Tech Times, the nation promised any findings will be shared with the global scientific community, and it seems they are keeping their promise.
The initial analysis of the lunar soil samples from the Chinese lunar probe seems to squash the hopes of some people that we can plant something on the moon and create a sustainable lunar base for humans.
"Unlike the organic soil on earth, the soil from the moon does not contain any organic nutrients and is very dry, which is neither suitable for growing vegetables nor potatoes," said CCTV anchor Zhu Guangquan, quoting scientists.
According to The Global Times, the anchor said it via a video that was published on the Sina Weibo account on Saturday, December 19.
Online Discussion About Growing Plants in the Moon
This has apparently been a discussion online over the weekend as news of the lunar samples broke.
Based on the report, the topic on Sina Weibo about planting farming on the moon has been viewed around 63.3 million times and has been discussed 17,000 times, with over 8,100 comments on the video.
Nevertheless, it wasn't exactly the first time the question was asked by the Chinese citizens.
According to News18, the country had actually tried to grow something on the moon through Chang'e 4, the current probe's predecessor, which landed on the far side of the moon that we can never see.
The landing was historic, but what's even more amazing is that scientists from China's space agency tried to grow cotton seeds brought with Chang'e 4 in early January 2019, coming with the environment for growth including air, soil, and water.
The seedlings were all huddled together and formed a miniature forest-like spot in a barren world, but unfortunately, the cotton seeds died within a week.
Still, the experiment was the first time biological matter grew on the moon, so the mission was still deemed as a success and historical.
Source for Clean Energy?
Since we can't grow vegetables on the moon, what can we do?
As it turns out, there are other uses for lunar soil: specifically being used as a clean energy source that can "generate electricity through thermonuclear fusion," according to the video posted by CCTV.
This is possible as the solar winds have injected the lunar soil with a massive amount of helium-3.
The lunar samples brought by Chang'e 5 will be analyzed further in the coming days, but labs will not be the only ones that will be given sections of the soil samples, as national museums will also be provided with a fraction for display.
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Written by: Nhx Tingson