A group of scientists has proposed “lunar ark” hidden inside the moon’s lava tubes could preserve the sperm, eggs and seeds of millions of Earth’s species.
Scientists believe the endeavor could safeguard our planet’s wildlife against both natural and human-caused apocalyptic scenarios, such as a supervolcano eruption or a nuclear war, and ensure the survival of their genes.
A team of six researchers from the University of Arizona, United States lately delivered a rather eccentric presentation during the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Aerospace Conference where they suggested a proposal to protect mankind from extinction.
As reported by Insider, the scientists pushed for a ‘modern global insurance policy’ by building an ‘ark’ filled with 6.7 million samples and put it on the moon.
This ‘Lunar ark’ would be created by shooting multiple payloads of sperm and ova samples of 6.7 million species to the moon. The samples will then be stored in a safe vault beneath the surface of the moon or a ‘lunar pit’ in which it can be securely preserved.
The University of Arizona researchers claimed that this lunar ark could help repopulate the Earth should it face a catastrophic disaster such as a deadly pandemic, a large-scale nuclear war or even natural disasters such as supervolcanic eruptions. All of this suggestions was put inside a scientific paper titled ‘Lunar Pits and Lava Tube for a Modern Ark’.
So why put the samples on the moon instead on Earth?
The main motivation behind the lunar ark is to create a secure off-world storage facility for biodiversity.
Well, according to the paper, an Earth-based repository of samples would still leave specimens vulnerable to getting destroyed in a massive disaster.
This concept is similar to the ‘Doomsday’ seed vault in Svalbard, Norway which is a safe vault which currently holds more than a million crop samples originating from almost every country in the world. However, transporting samples to the moon and building a vault there require significant funding.
Jekan Thangavelautham, the study author for the Lunar ark said that a total of 250 flights to the moon is required to transport and build the vault. For comparison, the International Space Station was built with 40 trips to outer space.
As for the source of power to protect the vault, the scientists suggest using solar panels as without power, the samples would freeze or weld together in the sub-zero temperatures of the moon.