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Big Mood: The First Leaf To Grow On The Moon Has Already Died

Just like your house plants.

The first plant on the moon has already died

Sad news for fans of plants and/or celestial bodies: the first green leaf to sprout on the moon has already died after just a few days, just like your house plants. Speaking of which, it’s a heatwave in Australia right now — have you watered your plants today?

Anyway, back to the moon: the leaf, which was grown from a cotton seed in a canister on China’s Chang’e 4 lander, was a huge deal earlier this week because it was the very first seed to sprout on the moon. Scientists are investigating whether plants can be grown in space in the hope that eventually, this might allow astronauts to survive longer journeys (for example, to Mars) without having to return to Earth for more supplies.

Sadly, it was not to be: as night fell on the moon, the temperature dropped to around -170 degrees Celsius, and the plant died.

But this was pretty much what scientists expected to happen in this case. The moon isn’t exactly ideal gardening territory — nights last approximately two weeks and get extremely cold, while days, which last as long, can reach over 120 degrees Celsius.

So all in all, not to worry. The scientists working on the groundbreaking project said it was still a worthwhile experiment, and they’ll keep trying in the future. After all, it was still a world first, and one of quite a few to come from China’s Chang’e project, which managed to land on the far side of the moon earlier this year.

Moon plant, thank you for your sacrifice. We will remember you.