Recent article with actual photo (not just the CGI rendering)
lol to the "perhaps feeling a little embarrassed" bit - small jab.
Seems likely that the insulation or power system did not work as designed.
Edit: Nevermind, the IEEE article photo is definitely a render. I was referring to the picture on the Guardian.
If this were a NASA thing I promise you the title wouldn't be "USA Grew Two Cotton Leaves on the Moon".
Everything Chinese is reduced to "China".
1. is 30 years older
2. did that whole "men on the moon" thing
3. is featured frequently in U.S. media, which is consumed around the world.
Also, the CNSA refers to everything it does as China's accomplishments: http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/english/index.html.
Not going to lie, I'm impressed that they pulled this off, and it's really, really cool!
It is interesting that something similar was the original concept for what turned into Space X. So it's not really an original idea.
I'm less familiar with Lunar "dirt" (aka regolith) than Martian regolith, but it's very likely that Lunar regolith isn't capable of supporting life. Martian regolith is a highly toxic blend of perchlorates, oxides, and extremely dry jagged minerals. The lack of a water cycle means that weathering behaves very differently, and the resulting material is considerably sharper and finer than the stuff on Earth. It also, of course, lacks any of the organic content that you'd need to make healthy soil.
Besides, what more valuable research could be done with them than answering "can we grow crops in lunar dirt" and "what do we need to mix in the lunar dirt to get crops to grow"?
We might want to understand:
The rate at which solar radiation impacts one side of lunar rock vs another (all the specimens were sampled with their orientation photographed). The composition of different lunar materials in different places. The alignment of various internal crystal or magnetic elements to better understand the moon and Earth's history. If we get very lucky, we might pick up a rock that came from Mars, or somewhere else, and we can understand the creation of our own solar system. Solar radiation leaves its mark on the rocks, and provides us a record of our sun's history if we can learn to read it.
We might want to understand whether a lunar regolith sample was capable of sustaining life, but the way we do that is not just grab the existing samples and put a seed in them. They are far too rare and precious. Better to try and understand everything about them and their formation, then try to create as accurate a simulation as possible.
Why is that better? Learning if they can support life seems far, far more valuable and practical than better understanding of its geological history.
If crops can grow in it, then a moon base becomes far more practical, and with a moon base you'll have all the rocks you want for further study.
I.e. priority should go to "what do we need to know to build a sustainable moon base". Understanding solar formation history is of doubtful immediate value.
If we can manufacture lunar regolith, and it's 99.9 percent the same, why use the real stuff (which is literally priceless) ?
> which is literally priceless
The price we'll pay for not using it will be the cost of extra missions to the moon to do those experiments there. We cannot plan a moon base without knowing whether crops will grow there or not.
The article refers to it as an "image" (as opposed to a raw source photo) that it clearly states is the result of "image processing".
It's common practice in science to produce such representative images, e.g. in a lot of astronomy, space photgraphy, and things like SEMs
I see no such statement, clearly or otherwise.
It's common practice in science to produce such representative images
Maybe this is one reason why a growing number of people don't believe scientists anymore.
"Representative images" sounds like the fine print in a used car ad.
"Image processing has now shown that two cotton leaves had grown—rather than just one as initially thought—in what was the first biological growth experiment on the moon."
Two cotton leaves grown in the Chang’e-4 lander on the far side of the moon."
Photo = "Photograph"
Photo ≠ "We made this cool rendering of what we imagine something like this would look like."
"Photo: Chongqing University
Yossarian, I want you to do something for me.
[removes item from small bag]
I want to serve this to the men.
Taste it and let me know what you think.
[Yossarian takes a bite]
What is it?
What are you, crazy?
No good, huh?
For Christ's sake, you didn't even take the seeds out!
Is it really that bad?
They've got to learn to like it!
Look, I saw this great opportunity to corner the market
in Egyptian cotton. How was I supposed to know there
was going to be a glut?
I've got a hundred warehouses stacked with the stuff all
over the European theater.
I can't get rid of a penny's worth. People eat cotton
candy, don't they?
Well this stuff is better - it's made out of real cotton.
Milo, people can't eat cotton!
They've got to - it's for the Syndicate!
It will make them sick! - why don't you try it yourself
if you don't believe me?
I did - and it made me sick.
Also, this "fix" isn't sure-fire. In many cases, people who use code blocks for quoting aren't even inserting newlines, let alone in the places that match up with your screen's landscape width.
The problem is people who use code blocks for what it wasn't intended to do-display quoted content.
Perhaps HN can add support for quotes, but even now there's nothing difficult with indicating a quote by adding a ">" to the start of the paragraph. Most, if not all, of HN readers will know what that means.
The problem is that it doesn't work, even on mobile, whether you're posting code or the Declaration of Independence.
At its heart, this web site is about communicating information. The current state of the code block fails at that mission.
Would you use an IDE without word wrap?
I wasn't aware it was controversial to use an IDE without word-wrap. I do not have it enabled on any of my editors.
Yes? I find word wrap in code really weird.
I don't want to hit 'j' and drop down two 'lines' because what I thought was the next line was actually the end of this line.
I also don't want to hit '$' and go not to the end of the 'line' but somewhere below (and potentially left) because of the same.
But I also don't want to hit '$' and go out into space to the right and lose context from the surrounding reasonably-lengthed lines.
Just use the return key and nobody has to worry about whether to wrap or not to wrap.
Posts that interleave their content with quoted bits are rarely as constructive as they think (almost always just point-by-point bickering) that I find impossible to follow no matter what formatting they could've used for the quotes.
Also a single ">" prefix on a long wrapped line is a bit of internet convention with younger crowds probably thanks to 4chan. I doubt most people using it these days even remember seeing it in emails.
If anything, HN should post-process lines that start with ">" to indent them.
The book is a classic; the film is pretty good but not groundbreaking the way the book is. The passage out of context lacks a bit of the overall flow that helps the book work. It looks like mere absurdism rather than the rigid but off-kilter logic that pervades the narrative. It's about the way the military forces you to buy into an authoritarian system as the only way to risk your own life for no reason you can see, which manifests as ridiculous incentives. And that goes well beyond military life, which is why the book is widely held as a classic.
I really can't say if you'd enjoy it or not, but if you like Monty Python and Douglas Adams you might find it reminiscent.
2nd thought, great we now left more fingerprints on the Petrie dish that is the moon.
There is an incomprehensible number of barren planets: 21.16 quadrillion in the Virgo Supercluster alone. We should be spreading life, not obsessing with keeping things 'clean'.
He wanted to grow plants on Mars, and use the images to try to stir up interest in space exploration.
Symbolically, a mayflower  would be smarter.
I'll bite, what is your take on why you shouldn't?
(Note: Carl Sagan was a huge advocate for marijuana, and credits it to the development of 'Cosmos' and some of his other scientific, spiritual, and creative endeavors. His widow, Ann Druyan, is on the boards of directors of NORML, which is a marijuana legalization/advocacy organization).
Do you realize how much Carl Sagan achieved?
And maybe he would have been more successful. Maybe he also would have grown tiny little wings and horns. Who knows what could happen if he had taken it up?
This is nothing but pure speculation at this point lol
Kinda makes me think about the fact that we need stronger ethics rules in the new space race.
Can anyone explain this reference?
Not positive about that, but that's where my mind went :)