Space Rice: China harvests first batch of rice that travelled around the moon

Source: Hindustan Times

 What is the News?

China has harvested its first batch of ‘Space Rice’ at the space breeding research centre of the South China Agricultural University in Guangdong province.

What is Space Rice?
  • Space Rice is the rice harvested from seeds that went on a 23-day moon mission with China’s Chang’e-5 in November 2020.
  • After being exposed to cosmic radiation and zero gravity, these seeds weighing around 40 grams returned and were harvested.
Why were the seeds taken to space?
  • China has been taking seeds of rice and other crops to Space since 1987.
  • It is believed that once the seeds are exposed to the environment in Space. They may mutate and produce higher yields once planted on Earth.
  • Hence, the move is basically aimed at boosting China’s grain harvest and thereby safeguarding the country’s food security.
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