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moon train seeds

Five of the trees that grew from the seeds, which included American sycamores and Douglas Firs, were given to then-New Mexico Democratic Gov. Jerry Apodoca.

Moon trees were grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit by former U.S. Forest Service elite parachuting forest firefighter Stuart Roosa during the 1971 mission. Roosa and the seeds orbited more than two dozen times around the moon.

Raphael Drhett Baca, building superintendent of the New Mexico State Capitol, said officials there have no idea where the moon tree was planted.

“We are not sure exactly where it was but it had to have been in this particular area right here,” said Mike Shinabery, an education specialist at the New Mexico Space History Museum in Alamogordo, New Mexico, told a reporter.

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China was the first country to use space technology to induce mutation breeding of crops. “Mutations are the basis of species evolution, as well as the basis of breeding of new variety,” said Guo Tao, deputy director of the space breeding center.

The seeds were handed over to their provider, the National Engineering Research Center of Plant Space Breeding of South China Agricultural University, on Dec 23.

The experiment on the Chang’e 5 probe is different from previous ones. It was the first such experiment conducted in a deep space environment, the space flight time was longer and the probe encountered radiation in the Van Allen Belts and fromsunspot activity, said Guo.

To ensure national food security, China’s total yield of rice needs to grow about 10 percent by 2030.

The rice seeds traveled to the moon and returned to Earth after 23 days of flight aboard China’s Chang’e 5 lunar probe. This marks the first time China conducted a deep space induced mutation breeding experiment on rice.