Doomsday Vault to Be Built on the Moon

Science | By Angelica Osborn | March 16, 2021

There are many things driving humanity to the deepest areas of space. For one, people were built to explore. Once we are able to stand on our own two feet, we begin exploring. As humans built boats, they were able to explore the Earth. Now they can explore space in rockets.

There is also another reason for traveling into the vastness of space: safety. Space is a means of escape if things on Earth were to ever get inhospitable. It’s a frightening concept, but as global warming becomes more of a threat, it is on more and more people’s mind to escape to space.

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were landing on the moon. Now it is common for Elon Musk to freely test his own rockets. We are closer than ever to making life on other planets and moons, which is why scientists are truly considering building a doomsday vault on the moon.

A Modern Global Insurance Policy

Welcome to the wonderful world of science fiction - well, it might not be fiction anymore. What we previously considered to be fiction is now fact. Space engineers are currently considering their options in building an underground doomsday vault - an ark, if you will - that would store incredible amounts of raw goods that could rebuild Earth. What would be included would be sperm, egg samples, seeds, and spores. All of these items would be hidden in underground tunnels on the moon in the case that something tragic happened on Earth.

Scientists at the University of Arizona are suggesting the ark idea, calling it a “modern global insurance policy.” This could be the key to saving 6.7 million species of creatures found on Earth. If that doesn’t sound like something out of a movie, I don’t know what does!

The Path to Rebuilding the World

The vault would serve the purpose of rebuilding any species lost in a cataclysmic event on Earth, not as a food storage system. That being said, this isn’t something that is going to happen easily or quickly. Jekan Thanga, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at University of Arizona College of Engineering said, “Earth is naturally a volatile environment. As humans, we had a close call about 75,000 years ago with the Toba supervolcanic eruption, which caused a 1,000-year cooling period and, according to some, aligns with an estimated drop in human diversity. 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."

This idea is nothing new. There are doomsday vaults that are located on Earth, however, as remote as they are from civilization, they could just as easily be destroyed in an apocalyptic event.

There are Many Hurdles in the Way

What exactly is stopping us from achieving this? The issue is with cryo-robotics technology. For seeds to be cryopreserved, they have to be cooled at several hundred degrees below fahrenheit. Other products, such as stem cells, must be frozen even further. These temperatures could cause issues for metal parts. There are also issues on how gravity might impact the specimen, as well as how to carry all the supplies to the moon.

Luckily, the moon may hold the key to the plan’s success. Scientists found a series of lava tubes beneath the moon’s surface in 2013. They think that these tubes could act as storage facilities for any specimen since they naturally protect from radiation and other issues prevalent on the moon. Wouldn't that be strange if the secret was inside the moon all along?



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