Scientists propose building 'ark' on moon to house millions of reproductive cell samples | Inquirer Technology
Close  

Scientists propose building ‘ark’ on moon to house millions of reproductive cell samples

/ 05:30 PM March 13, 2021
moon

INQUIRER.net Stock Photo

Scientists are proposing to have a “lunar ark” built on the moon to house millions of reproductive cells from Earth as a “modern global insurance policy.”

The said “ark,” which is set to be built beneath the moon’s surface, is intended to preserve the life of endangered species on Earth from any doomsday event.

ADVERTISEMENT

The team of researchers from the University of Arizona presented the bold proposal, titled “Lunar Pits and Lava Tubes for a Modern Ark,” at the annual Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace Conference on Saturday.

“Earth is naturally a volatile environment,” said study author Jekan Thanga, addressing the planet’s instability for being subject to several potential world-ending events including both natural and man-made disasters, such as global epidemics, a supervolcanic eruption, a nuclear war, a global solar storm, climate change and an asteroid impact, the team noted.

FEATURED STORIES

Other than being safe due to not being on Earth in the event of a global crisis, the said repository is being proposed to be built on the moon because of the satellite’s ideal features, specifically its “pits,” the scientists said.

The team believes that lava once flowed on these pits and underground “lava tubes,” which will keep the “ark” and its specimens safe from aboveground elements.

Explaining that the temperature inside these lava tubes is constant, Thanga  said these pits will protect the ark from the surface temperature swings. Being underground, it is also an ideal shelter from cosmic radiation and micrometeorites.

The team also noted that these “pits” are the ideal size for the said ark.

Thanga also likened the “ark” to that of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, which houses seed samples from all over the world.

They propose to cryogenically freeze 50 samples of reproductive cells from the endangered species. Being a relatively large project, Thanga said this will take around 250 flights to the moon.

“We can still save them [endangered species] ’til the technology advances to then reintroduce these species. In other words, save them for another day,” Thanga said in the presentation.  /ra

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED STORIES:

Russia and China plan to build joint lunar space station

World’s first space hotel set to begin construction by 2026

Taytay, Mars: 6 Martian craters named after PH towns

TOPICS: ARK, banks, Doomsday, Lunar Ark, Moon, University of Arizona, vaults
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.