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Crop seeds, microbial strains tested in China's two space missions unveiled
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Jan 15, 2023

File image of Chinese space food researchers.

The China Manned Space Agency on Friday unveiled a detailed list of crop seeds and microbial strains on board the Shenzhou XIV and Shenzhou XV manned spaceships.

More than 1,300 pieces of crop seeds and microbial strains from 112 contributors, including Chinese universities, research institutes, and grass-root breeding stations, were brought into space for breeding experiments.

China launched the crewed spaceship Shenzhou XIV on June 5, 2022, to dock with its space station combination, and then the Shenzhou XV on Nov 29, to render the country's first in-orbit crew rotation.

Astronauts on two missions are tasked with performing breeding experiments in the space station.

Among the seeds are those of staple foods like rice, wheat, and potato, familiar fruits and vegetables, forage grass, and herbal materials used in traditional Chinese medicine. A variety of probiotics are on the experimental list.

Space breeding involves exposing seeds and strains to cosmic radiation and microgravity during a spaceflight mission to mutate their genes.

The space breeding tests have been conducted in all the flight missions during the essential technology verification phase of China's space station project. Thousands of crop seeds and microorganisms were carried into space and brought back to Earth by Shenzhou XII and Shenzhou XIII crews.

Chinese scientists have completed the 120-day life-cycle growth experiments of rice in its space station, which is for the first time in the world. The experiments were conducted from July 29 to Nov 25 last year.

In future missions, more experimental samples will be sent into space to ensure China's food security, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

Related Links
China Manned Space Agency
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Healthier diets for astronauts on spaceflights may improve health and performance
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 18, 2022
Astronauts could be given an enhanced diet during spaceflights that includes a greater variety and quantity of fruits, vegetables, and fish to improve their health and performance compared to standard spaceflight food, reports a study published in Scientific Reports. Although conducted in a spaceflight simulation chamber on Earth with 16 individuals, these findings may have implications for astronaut health and decisions about food resource priorities on spaceflights. Long-duration spaceflig ... read more

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