CHONGQING, July 17 (Xinhuanet) --
China plans to bring animal seeds to the outer space for the first time in its
second manned mission, Shenzhou VI, which is scheduled for early October this
|A young pig in Beijing. China plans to take
semen from pedigree pigs on its second manned space mission to study
whether exposure to outer space alters the genetic make-up of the sperm.
Former space breeding experiment was done with plant
The Chongqing Academy of Animal Husbandry Science
(CAAHS) in this southwest China's municipality recently signed a contract with
the space breeding center of the China Aerospace Science and Technology
Corporation. Under the accord, Shenzhou VI will carry 40 grams of pig sperms to
the outer space. The sperms will come from two carefully chosen Rongchang pigs,
according to a CAAHS official.
Named after Rongchang County of Chongqing, Rongchang
pig is outstanding in terms of figure and quality. Its pork is well received
both at home and abroad.
In October, part of the chosen sperms will be put
inside the biological capsule of Shenzhen VI and the other part will be put
outside. It is believed that under the microgravity and cosmic rays of the outer
space, genes of the sperms stored in different manners will be changed in
After staying for 4 to 5 days in the outer space, the
pig sperms will be put together with pig eggs in test tubes on the earth. What
kind of changes will occur in the figure and quality of the test-tube pigs? The
experiment results will likely come outin two years, according to breeders.
Wang Jinyong, head of the CAAHS breeding center, said
that his academy has invested more than two million yuan (240,963 US dollars) in
related researches and equipment for the upcoming tests. Enditem