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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: 2) by Corelli's A on Sunday March 14 2021, @12:13PM (7 children)

    by Corelli's A (1772) on Sunday March 14 2021, @12:13PM (#1123986)

    Is it just my old-man crankiness coming out, or has there been an excess of [sic] in summaries over the past year? My suggestion: think about your audience. Do all the readers need to mentally stumble over "planet [sic]" and contemplate for a moment what the hell the point is? Just write "Species or plants" or, for god's sake, "Species or [plants]" if you must. Nobody is going to crawl up your butt in the name of accuracy for making the obvious editorial correction.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:11PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:11PM (#1123993)

    ...or just delete planets/plants, since either one is redundant after species.

    tfa seems to be out of date by a couple of million species-- https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-14616161 [bbc.com]
    > The natural world contains about 8.7 million species, according to a new estimate described by scientists as the most accurate ever.
    Time to start counting!!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:23PM (#1123996)
      By the time you finish counting, most will be extinct. Including us.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:20PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:20PM (#1123995)
    Errors like that are useful - too many of them should trip your bullshit detector. Because the whole concept is just that - bullshit.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @03:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14 2021, @03:43PM (#1124041)

      Good idea! Instead of the parent complaint about:
      > ... "planet [sic]"

      Let's start doing this:
      "planet [bs]"

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:43PM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday March 14 2021, @01:43PM (#1124004) Journal

    I would always do "Species or [plants]"

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