Could The Moon Become Humanity's Storage Locker?

Several organizations are hoping to put valuable artifacts -- such as a handwritten Jewish scroll -- on privately-launched missions to the moon, where they will be preserved in case something bad happens on Earth.

What's the Latest Development?


Possibly as early as next year, a commercial lander could arrive on the moon bearing precious cargo: a handwritten Jewish scroll known as a Sefer Torah. The scroll will be housed in a special container, still being tweaked, that will protect it from the harsh lunar environment for at least 10,000 years. If the mission is successful, future flights will carry two other important religious and philosophical texts: the Hindu Vedas and the Chinese I Ching.

What's the Big Idea?

The Torah on the Moon project is just one of several that plan to take advantage of commercial space flight -- through  the 18 teams currently competing for the Google Lunar X Prize -- to preserve one or more aspects of human culture on the moon "in case Earth suffers a pandemic plague, nuclear holocaust or lethal asteroid strike." Some of those suggested include a representative DNA sample of a million people and the works of celebrated artists, writers and musicians. If the Sefer Torah survives the trip, it will become the second religious object to find a lunar home: The first was a Bible left on a moon buggy by Apollo 15 commander David Scott in 1971.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at New Scientist

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

Top Video Splash
  • When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
  • When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.