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  Sending Earth artifacts to the moon, just in case

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Author Topic:   Sending Earth artifacts to the moon, just in case
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30078
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-04-2014 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Washington Post reports about the plans by some to use the moon as off-planet storage for the religious, cultural and even genetic trappings of humanity.
Proponents of this idea initially plan to rely on groups vying to win millions in a Google-backed space-flight competition, with the first of those missions possibly departing by the end of 2015.

Eventually, commercial moon landers may help carry a diverse library of cultural and biological records to the lunar surface, to be preserved in case Earth suffers a pandemic plague, nuclear holocaust or lethal asteroid strike.

The first artifacts to shoot for the moon might be three religious and philosophical texts. The Torah on the Moon project, based in Tel Aviv, has been courting private firms to deliver a handwritten Jewish scroll called a sefer Torah to the lunar surface. Later flights would carry Hindu scriptures called the Veda and the I Ching, an ancient Chinese philosophical work.

Each document would be housed in a capsule designed to protect it from the moon’s harsh radiation and temperature changes for at least 10,000 years.

sts205cdr
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Posts: 585
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 06-04-2014 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If we're wiped out, what's the point? I don't get it. Can anyone enlighten me?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-04-2014 09:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why did we place a plaque on the Pioneer probes or a record on the Voyagers?

It doesn't even need to be extraterrestrial. Short of the Sun eventually enveloping the Earth, even if humans go extinct, life may continue to evolve until the point that another form of Earthlings make their own giant leap and discover the remnants of their long-extinct cousins. (Of course, such a scenario would require more than the cited 10,000 year lifespan of the lunar archive.)

schnappsicle
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Posts: 154
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 07-24-2014 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems to me that those things would almost be safer here on Earth where we could quickly move them out of harm's way (in case of asteroid impact). It would be much more difficult to try to save something if it were on the moon.

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 07-24-2014 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh, the irony of having religious texts on the Moon when we've all been wiped out in a nuclear holocaust!

DNA and biological samples, yes. Maybe historical records but given organised religion's track record I'd put that way down the list of priorities.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 07-25-2014 01:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some people have way too much free time...

And by the way, isn't there a place on Earth where seeds are already placed in storage... just in case? (Don't remember where.)

moorouge
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From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 07-25-2014 01:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
DNA and biological samples, yes.
Totally agree. There is one small problem with this though. Whose DNA should be preserved?

SkyMan1958
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Registered: Jan 2011

posted 07-25-2014 01:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
And by the way, isn't there a place on Earth where seeds are already placed in storage... just in case?
Most of the larger countries have some sort of seed banks. However, as benign as you might think those seed banks would be, there are nut jobs that target them. Peru has the largest seed (?) bank for varieties/species of potatoes in the world, yet the storage site was targeted by the Shining Path guerrillas.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 07-25-2014 06:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good idea in a logical society, but not on this planet in 2014. Space exploration is underfunded as it is and now we are going to send artifacts there? Also, there would be a political and perhaps a legal battle, even if these were private companies.

Side note — we get the artifacts there but we can't get people there.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30078
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2014 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
Also, there would be a political and perhaps a legal battle, even if these were private companies.
I don't see why there would be, especially if piggybacking with the Google Lunar X Prize rovers as the original article noted. There are no laws, to my knowledge, that preclude depositing objects on the lunar surface and Congress hasn't raised any objections to GLXP (again, to my knowledge).

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
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posted 07-25-2014 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some group would object to the sending of religious artifacts.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 07-25-2014 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The seed bank I had in mind is in Norway: Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

issman1
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From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 07-25-2014 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would rather see Richard C. Hoagland sent to the Moon so he can find those glass towers and other alien artifacts which he likes pontificating so much about.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30078
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2014 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
Some group would object to the sending of religious artifacts.
They could object, but they would have a hard time defending their position. The U.S. landed King James bibles on the moon during Apollo, so a precedent already exists.

chet
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From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 07-25-2014 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
given organised religion's track record I'd put that way down the list of priorities.
Seems to me blaming organized religion's texts for what ensued from them (good or bad) is like blaming the perpetration of violent acts on video games.

Put a potato on a table in front of two people. One will make you french fries, the other will throw it at your head. That potato is still moonworthy!

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