Shenzhou V Carries Taiwan Seeds into Space

The spacecraft Shenzhou V will carry flower, plant and vegetable seeds from Taiwan into space.

Experts from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences say Taiwan researchers responded warmly towards the motherland's offer to send Taiwan seeds into space aboard the capsule. They collected and sent varieties of seeds from the island, including those of green peppers and tomatoes. After the spacecraft finishes its mission, the seeds will be sent back to Taiwan to help scientists there probe the possibilities of raising plants in outer space. China started its space breeding program in 1987 and has been sending seeds and seedlings aboard rockets many times since, approving the farming of more than 50 types of seeds that are descended from those irradiated in space.

( October 15, 2003)