A team of researchers from the University of Arizona has come up with a bold proposal to save lives on Earth in the event of a global crisis. Our planet far removed from the risks it faces due to natural or human activity – not just human life, but animal and plant life – that will make it possible for them to survive.
The proposal may seem like something out of a science fiction story, but it is surprisingly realistic. Presenting their ideas at the IEEE space conference held over the weekend, the team sees it as a “modern global insurance policy” against a catastrophe that could lead to a catastrophe of world civilization. Thus, “Lunar Ark” where cryogenically frozen specimens of sperm, eggs, seeds and seeds of 6.7 million species can safely stored on the moon.
The moon may not be an ideal location for easy access, but it does have the advantage of being far away from the “doomsday” view that can float our planet. In particular, the moon’s lava tubes and lunar pits may be the ideal place to build the modern-day Noah’s Ark, similar to Svalbard’s famous “Doomsday” Seed Vault, but in a place where the climate crisis can’t reach the sample. Below the surface of the moon are hundreds of lava tubes.
Thanks to the rocks above, they are protect from radiation and micrometeorites and would be a resource for storing extremely low-temperature samples underground, such as for seed arches and the Arctic World Archives, such as a Norwegian archipelago, the Arctic Svalbard. Strengthening such facilities is also within the current capacity. Assuming a 30 percent efficiency of 191 square meters (2,055 square feet) of solar panels, that would be enough to strengthen the lunar ark. Construction and supply will become a barrier but nothing beyond the realm of possibility.
Professor Jacqueline Thanga, who presented the idea, explained that they estimated the opportunities to fill the samples on about 250 regional trips. For comparison, the construction of the International Space Station (which is certainly much closer) took 40 flights. “It’s not a big deal,” Thanga said in a statement. “We were a little surprised about that.”
There are other obstacles to overcome, some of which have potentially fantastic solutions. The cooling and near-vacuum conditions of the moon’s lava tubes can affect the metals employed in this facility in a variety of ways. They can weld ice, jam and even cold together. However, the team has a creative solution: hiring superconductors. Superconductors exhibit incredible properties such as allowing the flow of electricity without any resistance. They can trap things in places thanks to an event known as quantum evolution.
Samples of the earth can hung in place of the superconducting track, allowing the robots to move on other tracks for testing. While this ambitious project is not yet ready to be set up, the team has proposed ways to study the moon’s lava tubes in preparation for hopping and flying a robot called SphereX. These lava tubes not only hold specimens of terrestrial species, but they can also be ideal for the permanent presence of humans on the moon.
“What amazes me about such projects is that they make us feel that we are becoming a space civilization and that in the very near future where mankind will have a base of the moon and Mars,” said Alvaro Dodge-Flores. Caminero, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, is leading the thermal analysis for this project. “Multiple projects are tough because of their complexity, but I think the same complexity makes them beautiful.”