Home Precision Agriculture Researcher Proposes Sending ‘Ark’ of All Known Species to the Moon

Researcher Proposes Sending ‘Ark’ of All Known Species to the Moon


There are a number of initiatives wanting to protect genetic materials from vegetation; the Svalbard International Seed Vault in the far north of Norway might be the most well-known. 

The thought behind such initiatives is that Earth is shedding its biodiversity at alarming charges, that it’s going to most likely proceed to lose extra and that we must always, by some means, strive to save genetic materials in the occasion of a disaster. A brand new proposal from Jekan Thanga, who heads the House and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory at the College of Arizona, is a…barely extra excessive model of that seed financial institution.

Thanga’s proposal is extra of a thought experiment than an precise proposal that has any likelihood of being put into motion. However right here’s the concept: a solar-powered financial institution, on the moon, that holds genetic materials from all 6.7 million identified species of plant, animal and fungus on Earth.

“Earth is naturally a volatile environment,” Thanga stated in a press launch. “As humans, we had a close call about 75,000 years ago with the Toba supervolcanic eruption… Because human civilization has such a large footprint, if it were to collapse, that could have a negative cascading effect on the rest of the planet.”

The thought depends on a 2013 discovery of tubes simply beneath the moon’s floor. Scientists consider these tubes have been created by lava that flowed on the moon’s floor, carving molten-hot tube shapes by means of the moon’s crust, after which flowed out, leaving them empty. Varied area companies have proposed methods to discover the tubes, however none have gone into impact but.

Thanga’s concept depends on the very chilly and really safe nature of these tubes to retailer, indefinitely, all of these samples. These would, on this idea, consist of seeds, DNA samples, spores, eggs, sperm and different materials. 

In case you’re questioning how all of that stuff would really get to the moon, effectively, it might take round 250 rocket launches. The College of Arizona helpfully notes that it took solely 40 launches to construct the Worldwide House Station. It might be powered by photo voltaic panels and depend on quantum levitation for storage. Quantum levitation is a property that I gained’t even strive to clarify. Right here’s somebody who really understands it.

This specific idea has completely no likelihood of occurring anytime quickly, however that doesn’t make it any much less enjoyable to take into consideration. And on condition that local weather change is already wreaking havoc on that Svalbard seed financial institution, possibly it’s not too early to begin enthusiastic about different places.


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