'Doomsday Ark' to be Housed on the Moon -A Remote Access Toolkit to Rebuild the Human Race
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July 04, 2010

'Doomsday Ark' to be Housed on the Moon -A Remote Access Toolkit to Rebuild the Human Race

North-pole-moon2“Eventually, it will be necessary to have a kind of Noah’s ark there, a diversity of species from the biosphere."

Bernard Foing, Chief Scientist/Research, European Space Agency 

If the human species should be destroyed on Earth, our future may reside on the Moon if plans.being drawn up for a “Doomsday ark” on the moon by the European Space Agency are carried through. The Ark will contain the essentials of life and human civilization, to be activated in the event of earth being devastated by a giant asteroid or nuclear war.

The construction of a lunar information bank, discussed at a conference in Strasbourg last month, would provide survivors on Earth with a remote-access toolkit to rebuild the human race.

A basic version of the ark would contain hard discs holding information such as DNA sequences and instructions for metal smelting or planting crops. It would be buried in a vault just under the lunar surface and transmitters would send the data to heavily protected receivers on earth. if no receivers survived, the ark would continue transmitting the information until new ones could be built.

The vault could later be extended to include natural material including microbes, animal embryos and plant seeds and even cultural relics such as surplus items from museum stores.

As a first step to discovering whether living organisms could survive, European Space Agency scientists are hoping to experiment with growing tulips on the moon within the next decade.

The first flowers – tulips or arabidopsis, a plant widely used in research – could be grown in 2012 or 2015 according to Bernard Foing, chief scientist at the agency’s research department. 

Tulips are ideal because they can be frozen, transported long distances and grown with little nourishment. Combined with algae, an enclosed artificial atmosphere and chemically enhanced lunar soil, they could form the basis of an ecosystem.

The first experiments would be carried out in transparent biospheres containing a mix of gases to mimic the earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide given off by the decomposing plants would be mopped up by the algae, which would generate oxygen through photosynthesis.

The databank would initially be run by robots and linked to earth by radio transmissions. Scientists hope to put a manned station on the moon before the end of the century.

The databank would need to be buried under rock to protect it from the extreme temperatures, radiation and vacuum on the moon. It would be run partly on solar power. The scientists envisage placing the first experimental databank on the moon no later than 2020 and it could have a lifespan of 30 years. The full archive would be launched by 2035.

The information would be held in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish and would be linked by transmitter to 4,000 “Earth repositories” that would provide shelter, food, a water supply for survivors

Casey Kazan via ESA and newsseekr.com

Comments

How do you know there is not one on the moon already left by a previous generation???????????????????

@Ted, because the knowledge and technology to leave the planet is less than 60 years old.

I think Ted might be thinking from a long time ago, from a time we don't remember. As soon as I read this I thought here so they must the earth is in danger then?

I'm always surprised about the survival of the human race thing. Why would one care if there is no belief in reincarnation? Fantasies of immortality through future generations. A sense of accomplishment for being responsible for future life. A genuine concern for the great great grand kids!lol The reason is most likely personal; if one was really concerned for future generations one would not hand them a world in danger of dying. Funny thing about all this personal ego type stuff. . . it all disappears when your dead

ok... a remote access database? you want to store genetic sequences in a remote access database so that people can do what? clone each other? "The essentials of life" would not be of any use becasue we wouldn't have any way of physically getting them here. If it was an earth-return vehicle, it could land somewhere, but it would most likely be programmed for a controlled automated landing somewhere in the ocean. If, during this unnamed catastrophe, electrical plants are disabled, there would be no way to track the landing site even if we could recall it, and there would be no way of physically retrieving it. And besides, how much of the 'essentials' do you think you can fit into a space-worthy vehicle? huh? Not enough to sustain ten people for a year i'd be willing to bet. As far as the idea for a 'biosphere' on the moon, how many people do you think you could house in a pressure dome and for how long before a fatal error occurs? And how safe do you think the moon will be? If this catastrophe is meteoric in nature, the moon will be either destroyed, or thrown off it's orbit and go spiraling off into space, most likely to collide with something else, or fall into the sun. I swear, scientists just don't think things through anymore...

The best idea henceforth for the preservation of the human race is to construct bunkers, ideally dug into the side of a mountain or something like that, large enough to support a small group of humans, several varieties of animals and livestock, and very, very large gardens, both for purposes of food and the filtration of air.

On a long term, the terraformation of Mars is still a theoretically feasible idea, and certainly it would be better to create a temporary bio-sphere on Mars (away from any noticeable effects from Earth) than on the moon, which might be under bombardment by chunks of Earth or volcanic ash or something like that. Food for thought...

This seems like a rather odd--and redundant--project to me. I remember reading an article about a year ago concerning doomsday seed banks being designed and built in remote areas of the world and deep under mountains that would house samples of all sorts of seeds in the event of some sort of civilization-ending catastrophe. In addition, there are groups such as the Long Now Foundation and the Lifeboat Foundation which are already looking to do much the same thing, only not on the moon.

The article stated that the initial moon project would be about 30 years. Given the average lifespan of both hard drives and solar panels, it's hard to see how it could go any longer without fundamental (and thus expensive and untried) changes in such technologies. Unfortunately if such a project were needed, it could be half a century or much longer before humans would be able to access and make use of the data & other stuff.

A couple comments to Alex: first, the article made no mention of housing people there. Second, the moon isn't going anywhere. In case you haven't noticed, the moon has been hit by meteors many, many times before. You may want to look up just how massive the moon is, and how massive a meteor is (much much much less).

Long Now Foundation: http://www.longnow.org/
Lifeboat Foundation: http://lifeboat.com

Did some one mention Ark? I don’t mind donating my DNA for free, where can I send it? and when is the next mass extinction event due? If I were too guess it would be 1012 to 2018 judging by all the hype...then again in the face of stupidity, mother earth is capable of big surprises!

eeerrrmmmm if the civilization is curtailed thru asteroid strike or nuclear war and assuming we are knocked back by about 2 or 3 centuries how exactly are we supposed to get to the Moon to recover all this stuff ? I mean, Saturn IV boosters are not exactly going to be growing on trees right ?

If we're going to bury receivers that can survive a catastrophe, we might as well bury the ark here or actually multiple arks in multiple locations across the world. If anyone survives you could assume at least on of the arks survived. Would be cheaper and practically speaking probabilty of success is probably just as good.

keep the stuff in orbit around the moon or sun in a cosmic ray proof shielded satellite and it will be safer then being underground on the moon. Then for the human race to survive, each person needs to have their own orbiting spacecraft around a planet or moon to stay plenty of distance apart from terrorists who have a ship too.

Looks like someones tax dollars r hard at work funding bullshit research.

Go Science!

An ark... One more try for the human kind to achieve immortality?
But are you reading God's Word? Are you thinking spiritually what is the point of this attempt?
Really. What is going on people? So the day is near...

I'm with Sam babic. This is boys and their toys, more than far-sighted altruism.

"if one was really concerned for future generations one would not hand them a world in danger of dying."
- True dat, digby. True dat.

The Age of Universal Madness... expected

Oh Dude, looks like the day might actually be near, for them to already start preparing for it. Now how about throwing in a digital bible and just before impact transmit all the electronic bank details of the rich ones. Because the earth might no longer be able to access infos on who is rich or who is not. Those left would just rip each other apart. Instead the Hollywoodians can keep enjoying the great life once civilization starts again. :b

Put it on the MOON ? In case life on Earth is endangered or sent backwards culturally or technologically ? That really makes sense !! How are people who have been sent back to the Middle Ages going to get to the Moon, or anywhere off of the face of the Earth ?

Yes, this is a SENSIBLE plan..... !!

It has a religious name. Great start. You're already repeating humanities mistakes all over again.

Is ANYONE reading this article before they post a comment?? Information is to be broadcast continuously back to Earth.Nobody has to go physically get this ark...

Based on the habits of 90% of the comments on the web I'd swear the asteroid already hit and we are currently trapped in a cultural and social dark age...

Wow, I never thought about it that way before.

Lou
www.total-anonymity.es.tc

Isn't it odd how people 1.5 to 2x more intelligent than the average populace receive nothing but hate and negativity from those of the average orders of intelligence?

One of the ways of advancing foreward is to stop and have the patience and foresight to thoroughly attempt to examine what it is that you don't understand. Even though you want to shout, cry and scream.

@Viser
point well taken.
But it seems that whole ego driven mentality fallacy might be necessary in order to keep our genetic material going. All the irony and silliness of the situation aside, I'd like to know my species is going to keep on after I'm done here.

@Viser
point well taken.
But it seems that whole ego driven mentality fallacy might be necessary in order to keep our genetic material going. All the irony and silliness of the situation aside, I'd like to know my species is going to keep on after I'm done here.

Do people that comment here actually read the articles? Or simply skim the titles and use it as a platform to spout either complete ignorant jargon (from the time we don't remember? really?) or something that doesn't make any sense because they didn't actually read the article.

Does your blog usually attract this high caliber readership.. or is this one of those times you are thankful Digg redirects so many morons over to you?

Do people that comment here actually read the articles? Or simply skim the titles and use it as a platform to spout either complete ignorant jargon (from the time we don't remember? really?) or something that doesn't make any sense because they didn't actually read the article.

Does your blog usually attract this high caliber readership.. or is this one of those times you are thankful Digg redirects so many morons over to you?


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