Scientists are inspired by Noah’s Ark with a proposal for a new month they call a “global insurance policy.” They want to send an ark filled with 335 million sperm and egg samples to the moon.It happens on earth.
Instead of two of all animals, the solar-powered MoonArc stores frozen seed, spore, sperm, and egg samples from approximately 6.7 million Earth species at cryogenic temperatures. Jekan Thanga, a researcher at the University of Arizona, and a group of his students proposed this concept in a treatise presented at this week’s IEEE Aerospace Conference.
“The Earth is a naturally unstable environment,” Thanga, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the U Arizona College of Engineering, said in a press release. “As humans, we were in close contact with the catastrophic eruption of Toba about 75,000 years ago, which caused a cooling period of 1,000 years, consistent with an estimated decline in human diversity. If it collapses, it can adversely affect the rest of the planet. “
Tanga emphasized climate change as a major concern, especially as it contributes to sea level rise. A deadly pandemic and a major nuclear war are two other major possibilities.Researchers cite catastrophic disasters.
The·Known as the “worst vault”, Norway currently stores hundreds of thousands of seed samples to ensure continued biodiversity on Earth. However, the Tanga team considers storing such valuable samples on our planet too risky.
Fortunately, the moon, which is only 238,855 miles away, does not have these problems.
Protect samples using lava tubes
To install the ark, 6.7 million samples must be sent monthly in multiple payloads and stored in an underwater safe in a safe place.
The idea is to store the ark within a network of lava tubes. About 200 of them were discovered under the moon in 2013. It was formed billions of years ago when underground lava flows formed huge caves over 300 feet in diameter.
These tubes have remained untouched for three to four billion years, and scientists suggest that they can provide the coveted protection from solar radiation, meteors, or surface temperature changes.
The moon isn’t kind to humans, but its harsh features “make it a great place to store samples that need to be very cold and undisturbed for hundreds of years at a time,” they said. Told.
Build a “modern” Noah’s Ark
Based on some “back-of-the-envelope calculations,” Tanga said that about 250 rocket launches would be required to transport about 50 samples from each of the 6.7 million species (a total of 335 million samples). Said. This is more than six times the time it took to build., 40 rocket launches were required.
“It’s not a crazy size,” Tanga said. “We were a little surprised about it.”
The team’s ark proposals include solar panels for electricity on the moon, elevator shafts to the facility, and Petri dishes housed in cryogenic storage modules.
Seeds should be cooled to minus 292 degrees Fahrenheit and stem cells should be cooled to minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit. For your reference,It is stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Due to the high likelihood of metal freezing at low temperatures, the team introduced a type of floating shelf powered by quantum levitation using strong magnets made of cryogenic cooled superconducting material.
“It looks like it’s fixed as a string, but you can’t see the string,” says Tanga. “When it reaches extreme temperatures, strange things happen. Some seem magical, but they are based on trial-and-error physics principles that are at the limits of our understanding.”
They also propose that robots navigate the facility with magnetic trucks. Obviously, much more research is needed, such as the effects of lack of gravity on seeds and planning of communication with the Earth.
“What surprises me with a project like this is that it makes us feel like we’re approaching space civilization and humanity is approaching the not-so-distant future of being based on the Moon and Mars,” Alvaro said. Diaz said. Flores Caminero, a PhD student at the University of Arizona, who leads the project’s thermal analysis. “Interdisciplinary projects are difficult because of their complexity, but I think the same complexity makes them beautiful.”
Scientists want to send 335 million seed, sperm, and egg samples to the moon to build Noah’s Ark on the Moon.
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