Saturday, July 29, 2006

China Farming In Space? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Apparently the red dragon nation is preparing to launch another satellite which will conduct experiments on breeding plants in outer space.

(Earth Times) BEIJING: China is expected to launch its first satellite for breeding plant seeds in September. The satellite will be launched from the Jiuquan satellite launch center, according to officials of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. It will make a 15-day space flight.

The satellite, named Shijian-8, would carry over 2,000 varieties of plant seeds in nine categories and 180 groups, including seeds of grains, cash crops and plants, as well as seeds of fungi and molecular biomaterials that have been sequenced.

Before anyone claims that "natural food" is the way to go, they should examine the results with China's tampering. By exposing these seeds to radiation, China has been able to grow not only more food, but healthier grain as well, making it easier to feed their growing population.

(Earth Times) According to scientists, when seeds are exposed to special environment and subjected to phenomena like cosmic radiation and micro-gravity, they are likely to mutate and offer higher yields and better quality. [...]

China has already established space seed breeding centres in regions such as Beijing, Shanghai and Heilongjiang province. A government official said between 2001 and 2004, space-bred rice and wheat varieties had been planted in about 566,600 hectares of land, producing an additional 340,000 tons of grain.

Experiments show that vitamin content of vegetables grown from space seeds is 281.5 per cent more than in ordinary vegetables and microelements of ferrum, zinc and carotene are also higher than normal.

According to the article, China has done this several times, and it apparently is paying off by producing higher yields of crop. If more experiments like these are successful, it may be wise for future colonies with barren (or no) soil to simply grow their food in orbit rather than on the surface.

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