The world is extremely vulnerable to different disasters, and some of those are not necessarily natural. That is the main reason why a team of researchers is considering the possibility of building backup data storage systems of human activity on the Moon to help future civilizations to recover in the event of an apocalyptic catastrophe.
The plans were announced just as NASA’s Artemis missions announced they plan to send people to the Moon again, which hadn’t happened since 1972.
We are all currently experiencing the effects of a pandemic and a modern war – and the latter has become even more calamitous as Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to commence a nuclear war. Given the world’s state right now, the researchers believe that it’s necessary to have some form of “off-world” data backup.
Carson Ezell, an undergraduate at Harvard University, Director of Space Futures Initiative, and lead collaborator in the study say that “the COVID-19 pandemic taught us how vulnerable our world is to large-scale disasters because of its growing interconnectivity.”
Dr. Alexandre Lazarian, a professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and collaborator in the study, says that this backup data storage system works in a similar fashion to the black boxes found in airplanes, whose main function is to provide information regarding accidents or crashed that may have happened during the use of the vehicle.
Several companies and countries seem to have a similar goal in mind, as the USA, China, and even SpaceX have researchers trying to find common ground regarding the issue.
The team describes how it may be possible to establish a backup system on the Moon thanks to the advancements made in laser communication and data storage.
The team wishes to send genetic information and academic books, journal articles, audiovisual media, and information on the number of species on our planet and the human genome, among other pieces of data, which would be around 1.07 x 1016 bytes of data. It could take about two years to send all this information to a hub once it is established.
Lazarian says that the main reason why this system is necessary is that there is always the possibility of humankind being destroyed. He says that the study aims to help people, especially politicians, be aware of how vulnerable we are as a species and how much of a danger we pose to ourselves.
The researchers insist that this project should be something where all nations collaborate, as it’s an issue that pertains to the worldwide population.
The study explores the idea of the Moon being the right place for humanity’s offsite backup., It’s unknown if the project will be green-lighted. We’ll have to wait a bit longer for that.
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