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posted by martyb on Sunday March 14 2021, @05:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the ♫sowing-the-seeds-of-love♫ dept.

[Nearly 4 years ago, we covered flooding at the "doomsday" seed bank at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Fortunately, there was no harm to the seed samples stored there. For further background, consult the Wikipedia entry on the seed vault. --Ed]

Why We Need A ‘Moon Ark’ To Store Frozen Seeds, Sperm And Eggs From 6.7 Million Earth Species:

Species or planets[sic] could be wiped off the face of the Earth any minute—so we need a “Moon Ark” to safely store frozen eggs, sperm, seeds and other DNA matter from all 6.7 million Earth species.

That’s according to students and staff at the University of Arizona, who at the IEEE Aerospace Conference last weekend divulged details of an ambitious “modern global insurance policy” for our planet.

Their daring plan is to build a complex in the Moon’s lava tubes staffed by robots and fuelled by solar panels on the lunar surface.

[...] The incredible plan to build a lunar base that includes an underground ark goes something like this:

  • Ball-like SphereX robots—each weighing about 11lbs/5kg and able to fly and hop—to enter, explore and map the Moon’s recently discovered (in 2013) network of underground lava tubes, each about 328ft./100 meters in diameter.
  • Design, and then construct, underground ark in the lava tubes, with solar panels on the lunar surface and elevator shafts that access the facility.
  • Launch 250 rockets to the Moon, each taking 50 samples from each of 6.7 million species (it took about 40 to build the International Space Station).
  • Store the petri dishes of seeds in cryogenic preservation modules inside the lava tubes, which would shield the seeds from solar radiation, meteorites and temperature fluctuations.
  • The seeds would be kept at around -292ºF/180ºC, temperatures that would likely cold-weld together metal parts of the base. Cue “floating shelves” made from cryo-cooled superconductor materials that enable quantum levitation above a powerful magnet.
  • Staff the facility with robots that navigate through it above magnetic tracks. Robots that can operate under cryo-conditions don’t yet exist—though the proposers admit that new technologies will be needed to make the “Moon Ark” a reality.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Acabatag on Sunday March 14 2021, @07:41AM (3 children)

    by Acabatag (2885) on Sunday March 14 2021, @07:41AM (#1123937)

    You can't just 'store' seeds and eggs and put it all together again later. The symbiosis of the system of life is much too complex. Nobody could 'jump start' all the life forms in a viable combination to 'start it up' again.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @08:54AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @08:54AM (#1123953)

    NONSENSE! We'll save humanity and restart life on Mars, once a few technical issues are solved such as which language to program the code in.

    • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday March 15 2021, @10:19AM

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday March 15 2021, @10:19AM (#1124364)

      Inches or cm?

  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday March 14 2021, @04:30PM

    by Immerman (3985) on Sunday March 14 2021, @04:30PM (#1124067)

    Of course we can. It won't be the same, but that's not half as important as repairing the ecosystem to the point that it can support millions of humans again.

    Almost all life on Earth has been wiped out, repeatedly - and the survivors eventually re-evolved the diversity necessary to create a thriving global ecosystem. Intelligent assistance from humans with vast libraries of the genetic diversity that was lost could help accelerate that process so it only takes centuries instead of tens of thousands of years.