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Aug 31, 2022

Space station rice tests show promise

Posted by in category: space travel

The seedlings reached up to 30 cm.

Chinese astronauts have successfully grown rice seedlings onboard the Tiangong space station. Experts said on Monday that this experiment could provide important information about how astronauts can grow food to support extended space journeys, according to China Daily.

Even though prior rice experiments have been conducted in space, the one carried out aboard Tiangong is the first of its type to attempt to produce the entire life cycle of the plant, which starts with a seed and ends with a full plant generating new seeds.

On July 24, China launched the Wentian space laboratory into orbit to dock it with the Tianhe core module of the Chinese space station.


Chinese astronauts have successfully grown rice seedlings onboard the Tiangong space station and this experiment that may yield key insights into how astronauts can cultivate food to support long-term space missions, experts said on Monday.

While there have been other rice experiments in space, the one being conducted on Tiangong is the first of its kind that aims to produce the complete life cycle of the plant, which begins with a seed and ends with a mature plant producing new seeds.

China launched the Wentian space laboratory into orbit on July 24 to dock with the Chinese space station’s Tianhe core module. The space lab, which weighs 23 metric tons and is 17.9 meters tall, is the country’s largest and heaviest spacecraft to date. Onboard are eight experimental payloads, including the one for the rice experiment.

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