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For the first time , plants from Earth are growing on the moon. The China National Space Administration showed photos of cotton seeds sprouting into . The administration said the cotton plants were among plants that were "growing ". Other plants that are now growing on the moon are , rock cress and rapeseed. The plants are part of a on China's space mission to the side of the moon. The project is called a "moon surface micro-ecological circle". Project leader Liu Hanlong says the cotton seeds were the to sprout. He said the plants were chosen because they were small, and could grow in the difficult conditions on the moon's .

Professor Hanlong said the project's aim was to understand about how plants grow outside of Earth. The long-term is to develop plants that can grow on the moon or on like Mars. The professor said: "We have given consideration to survival in space. Learning about these plants growing in a low- environment would allow us to lay the for our future establishment of a space base." The project also includes and fruit flies. The professor hopes the six in the project will make up a mini-ecosystem. The plants will produce oxygen and food for the fruit flies, and the yeast could manage the flies' and the dead plants to provide food source.

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