China's first batch of space rice grows at the space breeding research center of the South China Agricultural University in Guangdong Province. (Photo/CCTV)
(ECNS) -- The seeds of China's first batch of "space rice" that returned from a lunar voyage were harvested at the space breeding research center of the South China Agricultural University in Guangdong Province on Friday.
The 40 grams of space seeds traveled 23 days with China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe last November and successfully returned to Earth after being exposed to cosmic radiation in a deep space environment.
After several months of breeding and transplanting, the research center harvested the first batch of "space rice,” which will continue to breed in the next few years and may become a new home-grown rice species.
Since the 1980s, China has grown hundreds of space plant varieties, including grains, cash crops and vegetables.