Israeli Lunar Lander Contains a 30-million-page Archive of Human Civilization built to last Billions of Years

I have written many times about preserving documents for use by future genealogists. I have often written why digital documents can last much longer than the equivalent information on paper. Last week, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried an Israeli-made spacecraft named Beresheet beyond the grasp of Earth’s gravity and sent it on its way to the surface of the moon. On board Beresheet is a specially designed digital disc encoded with a 30-million-page archive of human civilization. The disk is expected to last billions of years into the future.

Yes, that’s BILLIONS of years. I doubt if paper will last that long.

The backup for humanity has been dubbed “The Lunar Library” by its creator, the Arch Mission Foundation (AMF). “The idea is to place enough backups in enough places around the solar system, on an ongoing basis, that our precious knowledge and biological heritage can never be lost,” wrote the nonprofit’s co-founder Nova Spivack.

Part of the motivation for the far-out project is to leave a copy of humanity’s knowledge not just in the cloud, but far beyond the clouds, should the impacts of climate change or a potential nuclear war do us or the planet in at some point in the future.

No price was given for the creation of the billion-year-plus disk. However, I am sure it is beyond the pocketbook of most consumers!

You can read more about this archival experiment in an article by Eric Mack in the C|Net web site at: https://cnet.co/2Eb3rxP.

2 Comments

Ah, yes. But how long will the disc reader last?

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The linked article states “The top four layers are actually filled with 60,000 pages of tiny analog images that can be viewed with optical microscope technology that’s been around for centuries.”
Let’s just hope that the disc is discovered by beings whose ‘eyes’ register that small part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we define as light and there are larger diagrams which show how the disc can be read otherwise all that work and money has been wasted! Not sure what alternative storage we could use though as it would need to employ something static that does not need an endless supply of energy to keep it usable.

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