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A Los Angeles-based non-profit inspired by Elon Musk’s favorite book has sent a “Lunar Library” into space aboard an Israeli spacecraft called the SpaceIL “Beresheet” lunar lander. It’s currently orbiting the earth and is set to land on April 11, 2019. The library contains a backup of human knowledge should our civilization collapse.
Never fear, if mankind manages to bring on the apocalypse, whoever survives need only fly to the moon to go to the library. The library was inspired by a classic work of science fiction.
Both Elon Musk and Los Angeles’ Arch Mission Foundation co-founder Nova Spivack are inspired by Issac Asimov’s “Foundation” novel series. The works were written in 1951 at the height of the Cold War. In the seemingly prescient books, Asimov tells the tale of a group of scientists who work together to preserve the collected works of humanity as intergalactic civilizations collapse at the height of their influence à la Rome. The scientists believe that preserving human knowledge will jumpstart civilization again from the impending dark ages.
— Vijeta Uniyal (@iUniyal) March 16, 2019
Factors like climate change, environmental degradation, bureaucracy, social inequality, and war currently threaten civilization on Earth. Similar to Asimov’s book characters, Spivack and The Arch Mission Foundation (AMF) has prepared a “civilization backup” to disperse across the solar system. The archive spans 5,000 years of human knowledge, has 30-million pages, and will find a home on the Moon, but also on this planet in caves, mountaintops, and even underwater.
According to How Stuff Works, the data includes a little of everything:
“What the Arch Mission Foundation’s team of scholars and scientists have deemed to be humanity’s most important knowledge come in the form of open data sets from the Wikimedia Foundation, The Long Now Foundation, Project Gutenberg, and the Internet Archive, as well as many other data sets, contributed by individuals and organizations. Basically, it’s the proverbial kitchen sink of information crammed into 25 DVD-sized disks made of pure nickel, each only 40 microns thick.”
— HowStuffWorks (@HowStuffWorks) March 8, 2019
Futurist entrepreneur, Nova Spivack, discussed the project on Twitter. He sees what he’s doing as ensuring the future of the human race.
“As a futurist, I can tell you with certainty, that in the future, they got a lot of things wrong about the past. Unless we do something to help the future recall the past better, today. Help us save humanity. To disc.”
As a futurist, I can tell you with certainty, that in the future, they got a lot of things wrong about the past. Unless we do something to help the future recall the past better, today. Help us save humanity. To disc.
— Nova Spivack (@novaspivack) March 1, 2019
Spivack believes that extraterrestrials may have likewise left an archive for human explorers to find.
“The mere fact that @archmission is sending an archive to the Moon, for beings millions of years in our future, means there is a higher probability that there may be another archive somewhere on the Moon, left for us by someone else, millions of years ago. #mindbender”
The Moon is just one of the locations for the archive. For example, a test run for a much bigger project called the Billion Years Archive was already launched into orbit around the sun by Elon Musk. A similar archive was placed in the red Tesla convertible sports car. A spacesuit-wearing mannequin named Star Man sits behind the wheel.
— Whittier Daily News (@WhittierNews) February 15, 2018
So just in case we manage to screw everything up here at home, there will be a wealth of information available should any survivors have the wherewithal to make it into space. Is it oddly comforting to know a record of our civilization will exist across the solar system? You decide.
Below, Bill Nye checks out the library with Spivack.
— Matthew Hoerl (@MattHoerl) March 9, 2019
Below is the location where the Lunar Libary will be located when the Beresheet lunar lander touches down in April.
The Israeli #Beresheet lunar landing site has been revealed; the main scientific instrument on board the spacecraft has now been successfully turned on in space and data returned to Earth #SpaceIL https://t.co/SYnMEwHmUE pic.twitter.com/wpOVpA3GYH
— Weizmann Institute (@WeizmannScience) March 17, 2019
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Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube