China plans to send pig sperm into space
China plans to bring animal sperms to the outer space for the first time in its second manned mission, Shenzhou VI, which is scheduled for early October this year.
Former space breeding experiment was done with plant seeds only.
The Chongqing Academy of Animal Husbandry Science (CAAHS) in 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.
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 different ways.
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.