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Eternal Memory: Long-Duration Storage Concepts for Space

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This paper explores the rationales for an eternal memory concept for space. The paper also develops three eternal memory concepts for space. Eternal memory is information encoded in some medium and capable of surviving in storage for a very long time. Historical development drivers for data storage are storage density and processing speed, while longevity of data has been limited to decades. Recent advances in storage technologies, such as optical storage and DNA storage, allow data storage for timescales of millions to billions of years. Eternal memory concepts for space are of interest to initiatives such as Lunar Mission One, the Long Now Foundation and the Human Document Project. The recent technological advances and the focused initiative of these projects produces a gap for the development of eternal memory concepts for space. This paper uses product development methodology to develop three eternal memory concepts for space. The study first identifies potential stakeholders, such as Lunar Mission One, the Long Now Foundation and the Human Document Project, and categorizes stakeholders by motivation. Stakeholder needs are interpreted from statements of motivation. Stakeholders want an eternal memory concept to encourage global public engagement, to move humanity toward becoming a dual-planet species, to embrace and constrain the information age, and to allow storage of information for a very long time. These needs are arranged hierarchically for each stakeholder and the most prevalent needs are selected. Metrics are then assigned to each need. A suggested storage technology and storage location are recommended for each case study. Each storage concept attempts to add value to stakeholders, addressing financial, scientific, technological, and socio-cultural needs.
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66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel. Copyright ©2015 by M Guzman, A Hein and C Welch. Published by the IAF, with
permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 1 of 18
IAC-15-D4.1.3
ETERNAL MEMORY: LONG-DURATION STORAGE CONCEPTS FOR SPACE
Melissa Guzman
International Space University, France - melissa.guzman@community.isunet.edu
Andreas M. Hein
Initiative for Interstellar Studies, France - andreas.hein@i4is.org
Chris Welch
International Space University, France chris.welch@isunet.edu
Eternal memory is information encoded in some medium and capable of surviving in storage for a very long time This
paper explores the rationales for an eternal memory concept for space and also develops three concepts for it using
product development methodology. Historical development drivers for data storage are storage density and processing
speed, while longevity of data has been limited to decades. Recent advances in storage technologies, such as optical
storage and DNA storage, allow data storage for timescales of millions to billions of years. Eternal memory concepts
for space are of interest to initiatives such as Lunar Mission One, the Long Now Foundation and the Human Document
Project. The recent technological advances and the focused initiative of these projects produces a gap for the
development of eternal memory concepts for space. The study first identifies potential stakeholders, such as Lunar
Mission One, the Long Now Foundation and the Human Document Project, and categorizes stakeholders by
motivation. Stakeholder needs are interpreted from statements of motivation. Stakeholders want an eternal memory
concept to encourage global public engagement, to move humanity toward becoming a dual-planet species, to embrace
and constrain the information age, and to allow storage of information for a very long time. These needs are arranged
hierarchically for each stakeholder and the most prevalent needs are selected. Metrics are then assigned to each need.
A suggested storage technology and storage location are recommended for each case study. Each storage concept
attempts to add value to stakeholders, addressing financial, scientific, technological, and socio-cultural needs.
I. INTRODUCTION
Eternal memory is information encoded in
some medium and capable of surviving in storage for
a very long time (Figure 1). Motivations for space
eternal memory include communication with
extraterrestrials (Sagan, A Message From Earth,
1972), stimulation of the human spirit (KEO, 2015),
and crowdfunding efforts for new entrepreneurial
pursuits (Lunar Mission One, 2015). The Voyager and
Pioneer probes set a precedent for space time capsules
in the 1970s, carrying selected visual and audio
messages away from the Earth and across the galaxy.
Though it is estimated that these probes will still
traverse the universe in half a billion years, there is
only a remote chance that these probes will ever meet
an advanced spacefaring nation (Sagan, Murmurs of
Earth, 1978) or that humans on Earth will
communicate with the spacecraft again.
Contemporary eternal memory projects strive
to operate within the scope of human agency. The
Long Now Foundation, founded in 1996, dedicates
itself to thinking about long-term archiving (Kelly,
2008). The Long Now Foundation’s archiving projects
Contact author
are terrestrial, although they are interested in thinking
about the questions and design demanded by a space
eternal memory concept (Welcher, Browseable DVD
Version of the Rosetta Disk now available, 2008). The
recently proposed Lunar Mission One project seeks to
preserve publically-sourced ‘digital memory boxes’
and human hair as well as a comprehensive record of
human history. They also seek to use pioneering robot
ETERNAL MEMORY
Information encoded in some medium and capable
of surviving in storage for a very long time.
STORAGE CONCEPT
A description of the
form, function and
features of a product,
namely, of a space
eternal memory
concept.
STAKEHOLDERS
Actors that directly
influence and
implement storage
concepts.
Figure 1: Important definitions.
66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel. Copyright ©2015 by M Guzman, A Hein and C Welch. Published by the IAF, with
permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 2 of 18
technology and to inspire global science education.
The storage of human information is a product for the
general public and provides a source of revenue to
support mission costs (Lunar Mission One, 2015). A
loosely conjoined group of university professors and
multidisciplinary enthusiasts have formed the Human
Document Project, which seeks to preserve a
document about humankind for one million years
(Human Document Project, 2014). Project organizers
express skepticism over storage in space, but also
articulate a need for redundancy and security for the
preserved document (Manz, 2015).
Figure 2: Defining "a very long time."
Alongside these ongoing questions of how
and where to preserve, longevity of storage
technologies has increased in the last five years.
Current digital data storage systems are capable of
storing huge amounts of data, but the longevity of the
data is limited to decades (de Vries, 2013). The aim of
this research is to explore the rationales for and
challenges of a space eternal memory project, to
evaluate possible storage concepts, and to investigate
the implementation of selected ones for stakeholders.
As depicted in Figure 2, timescales of an eternal
memory concept are on the order of hundreds of
thousands to billions of years. This is not the time scale
of concern to most humans. However, increased
longevity for storage could provide practical global
applications. For example, contracts made between
two nations often have to be replicated and restored
every couple of decades and this is legally complicated
(Manz, 2015). Recent attempts to fabricate long-
duration storage disks with embedded data and to
prove the data will not disappear for a million to billion
year time frame have been promising. The
technologies used vary from tungsten embedded in a
silicon-nitride (de Vries, 2013) to femtosecond laser
writing on transparent material (Zhang, 2013) to DNA
microchips (Church, Gao, & Kosuri, 2012).
The combination of space eternal memory
stakeholders (see Figure 1) and emerging long-
duration storage technologies set the stage for the
explorations in this research. This paper begins by
exploring the rationales for a space eternal memory
concept, with the assumption that motivation will
inform design. This paper also generates three space
eternal memory concepts (see Section VI). Space
eternal memory demands different questions and
design than terrestrial eternal memory, although some
questions are the same. Critical issues for concept
design include how the content will be selected, how
content will be decoded and read many years in the
future, where the information will be stored and in
what form, how the storage device will be protected in
its space environment, and how the storage device will
be distributed and found. Although the space
environment offers a safer barrier against erasure in
terms of pressure and chemical reactions, the space
environment has extreme temperature and radiation.
Space offers security to eternal memory, but raises
questions of discoverability.
It is an important assumption of this paper
that space will be colonized by humans within the next
million years and that space can be a valuable storage
location for human preservations. It is also assumed
that one million years ahead can be precisely
extrapolated for geology and astronomy. One million
years back is also assumed to be similar to one million
years ahead for biology (Manz, 2015). These
assumptions will help in the analysis of where to store
information in space and how future humans will
potentially read the information. This paper will
provide conceptual recommendations for space eternal
memory. Further research on specific space
environments and laboratory testing of storage device
design is necessary before system-level and detailed
design, testing and refinement, production and
implementation can be possible. It is the hope that this
research will be a part of that eventual implementation
of a space eternal memory concept.
II. METHODOLOGY
Since the project vision is toward an actual
launch of eternal memory into space, product
development methodology is used in this analysis. The
goal is to develop a concept with value to stakeholders.
The product is the space eternal memory concept.
This review uses methodology developed for
interdisciplinary product development by Karl Ulrich
and Steven Eppinger (1995). Their text was chosen
because these authors attempt to integrate both product
development theory and product development
practice, recognizing that a purely theoretical
approach is ineffective.
Although the methodology is based on that of
product development, it has been modified as seen
below in Figure 3 for the purposes of a concept
Hundreds
to
thousands
of years
Hundreds of
thousands of
years
(a long time)
Millions to
billions of
years
(a very
long time)
66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel. Copyright ©2015 by M Guzman, A Hein and C Welch. Published by the IAF, with
permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 3 of 18
development process. The challenge of modification is
appropriately segregating and specifying the
stakeholder needs for different parts of the entire
storage concept. The storage device, instead of being
the product to be developed, is only part of the whole
storage concept, in addition to other factors such as
content, storage location, and decoding method.
Figure 3: Product development methodology steps and
substeps used.
III. EXISTING STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES
From efforts in spoken language and their
written analogues to the digitization of zetabytes,
information storage provides a shared set of norms and
tools for expressing ideas about the world in which we
live (Evers, 2014). The goals of technological
development in storage technology usually revolve
around data density. However, in the last five years,
the development of several diverse types of
information storage now allow for storage on the time
scale of tens of thousands to millions of years. These
storage technologies store information in different
ways, ranging from the use of written language, to the
use of binary code, to the synthesizing of DNA bases
to represent binary values.
Alongside its longevity, a storage technology
for an eternal memory concept should fulfill three
main functions: the technology should write data into
a device, store the data (the principle function), and
read out the data. The following section explores
available technologies and how each fulfills these
three functions.
The Rosetta Project by the Long Now
Foundation uses electroformed, etched nickel disks for
storage of textual and image data for thousands of
years (Kelly, 2008). The Rosetta Disk, pictured in
Figure 4, was developed by Los Alamos National Labs
and needs only a 750-power optical microscope to
read its 14,000 pages of language translations. The
Rosetta Disk has only one layer of encoding since it
stores information in the written form of human
language (Welcher, Director of The Rosetta Project,
2015). This paper will develop a space eternal memory
concept for the Rosetta Project in Section VI.I.
There has also been promising research with
the use of laser-writing on silica glass and the
embedding of a material in silicon-nitride. Silica is an
attractive material for eternal memory concepts
because it is stable against temperature, stable against
chemicals, has established microfabrication methods,
and has a high Young’s modulus and Knoop hardness
(Manz, 2015).
For example, a medium where the data is
represented by one material, tungsten, embedded
within a second material, Si3N4, has been developed at
the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. The storage
technology survived high temperature testing for
sufficient time scales to suggest the data would survive
for at least one million years (de Vries, 2013). The
research was partially inspired by the work of the
Human Document Project. Due to the motivations of
this project, the system is intended to be a ‘write-once-
read-many’ type, to have a high chance of surviving
without established environmental conditions, and to
have a high energy barrier against erasure. Data is
written in two-dimensional bar codes, specifically
quick response codes, which are both popular and
recognizable to the contemporary human eye but also
decodable with devices such as a camera and a
computer. Although easily decodable by
contemporary standards, it is not an assumption of this
paper that humans one million years from now would
be using the same devices for decoding. A challenge
of using this technology for an eternal memory
concept would be how to ensure readability for an end
user.
Figure 4: An image of the Rosetta disk designed by the
Long Now Foundation (Kelly, 2008).
There has also been promising research with
the use of laser-writing on silica glass. The Hitachi
Central Research Center Laboratory and the Miura
Laboratory of Kyoto University have developed
encoded silica glass that can last for hundreds of
millions of years with no degradation. Four layers of
dots, representing information in binary form, are
1. Identify
stakeholder
needs
1.0 Define scope
1.1 Gather raw
data and interpret
by needs
1.2 Needs into
heirarchy and
relative needs
2. Establish
target
specifications
2.0 Prepare
needs-metrics
matrix
2.1 Collect
competitive
benchmarking
2.2 Set target
values for each
metric
3. Generate
storage concepts
3.0 Claify
problem/
subproblem
3.1 Search
externally and
internally
3.2 Explore
options
systematically
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IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 4 of 18
embedded in silica glass using a femtosecond laser.
The storage density is comparable to a CD-ROM. The
information can be read with an optical microscope.
The disk is waterproof, resistant to chemicals and
weathering, and was undamaged after being exposed
to 1,000-degree heat for two hours in testing (Hitachi,
2014). At the University of Southhampton in Great
Britain, researchers have stored optical memory again
using femtosecond laser writing on silica glass. It can
reportedly last for millions to billions of years. The
information encoding is realized by two birefringence
parameters in addition to the three spatial coordinates,
hence the 5D title. Using this technique, the
researchers successfully recorded and retrieved a
digital copy of a text file using an optical microscope-
based quantitative birefringence measurement system
(Zhang, 2013). The lab setup consists of lasers, lenses
and a sample of silica glass. Although the technique
itself is complex to communicate to future humans, the
required materials are basic.
The oldest digital information on our planet
are DNA and proteins (Manz, 2015). The advantages
of archival DNA data storage are its information
density, energy efficiency, and stability (Welcher,
Storing Digital Data in DNA, 2012). In 2012,
researchers at Harvard successfully stored about 700
terabytes of data in a gram of DNA. They wrote using
DNA microchips and then read using DNA
sequencing. Instead of binary code being encoded as
magnetic regions, as on a hard drive, strands of DNA
are synthesized and each of the bases (TGAC)
represents a binary value (T and G = 1, A and C = 0).
Sequencing machines sometimes had difficulty
reading the long stretches of the same letter and this
led to errors (Church, Gao, & Kosuri, 2012). However,
in 2013, a team led by Nick Goldman of the European
Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in the UK successfully
encoded DNA using a more complex encoding
system: every byte is represented by a word of five
letters that are each A, C, G, or T. The DNA code was
synthesized by an external source and returned to the
researchers who then reconstructed the files with
100% accuracy (Goldman, et al., 2013).
Teams have also explored the encoding of
DNA into the genome of bacteria. The data is then
transmitted over generations, preserving the data for
the lifetime of the bacteria, which is sometimes
millions of years. The DNA is subject to mutation, so
parts of the DNA that are not used during the
organism’s lifetime are chosen for data storage.
Bacteria are also chosen that can survive in extreme
external environments. The host cell duplicates the
data, which ensures data integrity by redundancy
(Mohan, Vinodh, & Jeevan, 2013). These options are
attractive and intriguing to the public and there is
already movement to bring artistic outreach into the
digital DNA world. For example, Joe Davis is an artist
in resident in Church’s Harvard lab. He plans to insert
a DNA-encoded version of the online Wikipedia
library into an apple and create a tree library (House,
2014).
The challenge of using DNA data storage is
the possible discontinuity in technological knowledge
and access to tools that can read the information.
Future humans would need tools we have available
today to decode the layers of encoding. In this case,
the challenge is discoverability, decodability and
readability (Welcher, Storing Digital Data in DNA,
2012). Clear sign posts must aid discovery, and the use
of bioluminescence is a possibility for DNA storage
(Manz, 2015).
There is ongoing research on quantum dot
memory storage. A handful of materials have been
identified to increase the storage time of electrons and
holes possibly up to millions and billions of years at
room temperature (Nowozin, Bimberg, Daqrouq,
Ajour, & Awedh, 2013). This technology is not
assessed here because of its readiness level, but it is an
area for further exploration.
A summary of possible storage technologies
for space eternal memory is summarized in the
heading of Table 5.
IV. STORAGE LOCATIONS IN SPACE
It is assumed that humans will probably
colonize surrounding bodies in the Solar System, such
as the Moon and Mars and even moons of the gas
giants, over the next million years. It is also assumed
that off-world backups away from prying human
hands will be vital for the preservation of eternal
memory for these time periods. In addition, the
involvement of eternal memory in space projects lends
itself to public outreach for long-term thinking
initiatives. People naturally get excited about space
launches and want to share in them. This section
provides a brief overview of possible storage locations
in space for eternal memory.
Travelling on-board a spacecraft has been the
traditional mode of travel for eternal memory in space,
as with the Pioneer plaques and the Voyager records.
Some messages are even updatable over a short time
period (One Earth, 2015). However, mixing large
distances with large time frames is not the best way to
increase the likelihood of human interaction with the
information (Manz, 2015). There is currently a Rosetta
Disk (see Section III.) onboard the Rosetta orbiter at
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Although the
comet will orbit the Sun for hundreds of millions of
years, the orbiter will probably only continue to orbit
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IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 5 of 18
the comet while it has fuel due to the low gravity of
the comet (ESA, 2014). There is discussion of
crashing or landing the orbiter on the comet at the end
of its mission (ESA, 2015). The lack of stability of
comets that come close to the Sun and the difficulty of
retrieval are major challenges to storing eternal
memory on or orbiting a comet.
In 2007, a Space Studies Program (SSP) team
project at the International Space University (ISU)
recommended a lunar archive as a solution for the
preservation of the human race after a catastrophic
event. The motivations of the project drive the
requirements of the data archive d\esign, including
only a 30-year requirement for the archive lifetime and
a power system requirement to enable regular
communication with Earth. The project identifies
environmental considerations for Moon storage
design, including lower gravity, extreme temperature,
hard vacuum, and harsh ionizing radiation, dust, and
micrometeoroid impacts (International Space
University, 2007).
The recently proposed Lunar Mission One
archive, in addition to other goals, attempts to
eliminate issues such as dust and micrometeoroid
impacts by burying the archive underground. The
Lunar Mission One project will be discussed in more
detail and a space eternal memory concept will be
developed for this mission.
Groups such as the Helena Payload Project
(Richards J. , 2014) and Time Capsule to Mars
(timecapsuletomars, 2015) have explored long-
duration storage on Mars. However, little has been
written about the effects of the Martian environment
on these storage concepts and this is a gap to be further
explored. It may be a better decision to choose a
location in the Solar System which will be accessible
in the next million years but will not be ideal for
colonization, in order to protect the information from
human trespassing. For example, if humans settle on
Mars, information could be stored on Phobos as a type
of library which people can access, take a quick look
or make a copy, and then return back to the main planet
(Manz, 2015). The destruction of recent precious sites
in Iraq demonstrates the alarmingly quick rate at
which humans can destroy preserved information
(Lostal, 2015).
Saturn and Jupiter both have several icy
moons which may be accessible in the next million
years to humans, but may not be settled for
colonization. An arctic vault has already been built in
the Svalbard archipelago and holds over 400,000 seeds
in order to preserve the Earth’s agricultural diversity
(Charles, 2006). This vault is particularly safe because
it is unlikely to be a habitat for humans. This storage
model could be applied to icy bodies in the Solar
System, although the extreme geologic activity of
some moons must be considered. In addition, Saturn is
an attractive planet in the night sky. The rings around
Saturn may identify it as ‘the important planet’ in the
Solar System just as rings around the heads of people
in Middle Aged paintings signified ‘important people.’
Saturn is a celestial body which naturally serves as a
pointing device, visible from Earth with the use of a
small telescope. In addition to possible storage
locations on the moons of Saturn, there are parts of the
Saturnian atmosphere which have liquid water at
around 0-20°C. Despite high pressures, DNA encoded
into bacterial life could survive here for long time
periods (Manz, 2015). The ethics and legal
practicalities of such a proposition should be further
explored.
The Lagrange points of Jupiter are also a
possibility: there are already more than 2200
catalogued asteroids librating about the L4 and L5
points of the Sun-Jupiter system (Lissauer & John,
2007). However, the orbits of the planets in the Solar
System are chaotic over long timescales and thus
difficult to predict. It is impossible to predict a planet’s
orbit with any certainty after a period of 2-230 million
years and even these predictions are associated with
computational and inherent uncertainty due to
unknowns such as asteroids, the solar quadruple
moment, mass loss from the Sun, solar wind effects on
planetary magnetospheres, galactic tidal forces, and
the effects of passing stars (Hayes, 2007). In addition,
Jupiter has the harshest radiation environment in the
Solar System and still little is known about some parts
of its magnetic system (NASA, 2015).
Within the next 10,000 years, it is probable
that there will be gravitationally-determined pathways
within our Solar System through which objects such
as spacecraft can travel with little energy expenditure.
This would provide greater ease in access to locations
such as Mars or the Jovian moons (Ross, 2006). A
system such as this could provide accessibility to
storage, but eternal memory devices could be stored in
less frequented locations as a way to keep the
information secure.
In terms of increasing the accessibility of the
information to future human populations, storage
locations within our Solar System are preferred.
Larger dynamics on long timescales include the merge
between the Andromeda galaxy and our galaxy within
the next billion years, which is within the lifetime of
our Sun. Bacteria may survive this period. When the
Sun swells to a red giant after about five billion years,
the Earth’s orbit could be inside the star. At this point,
no manmade structure will survive on the Earth or the
Moon. In this case, it may be feasible to send a robotic
spacecraft to search for a cooler star with planets, land
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IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 6 of 18
on one of the planets and then use energy from the star
to build a beacon and send out information of
humanity’s existence into the galaxy. A cooler star is
suggested because of its longer lifetime and M-stars
may be preferred because they stay on the main
sequence for hundreds of billions of years
(Elwenspoek, 2011). However, there is little evidence
that interest from the space eternal memory
community would support this type of project
currently.
A summary of possible storage locations in
space for eternal memory is summarized in the
heading of Table 4.
V. EXISTING INTEREST IN SPACE STORAGE
This section surveys existing missions or
proposals, both past and ongoing, for space eternal
memory and categorizes them by motivation. The
steps used are those to ‘Identify stakeholder needs,’
substeps 1.0 to 1.4 from Figure 3.
V.I Define the scope
The product is a space eternal memory
concept. The product shall be capable of surviving in
a space environment, capable of surviving for a very
long time, and shall store information rather than a
physical artifact. Physical artifacts include nuclear
waste or a seedbank. The primary stakeholders are
those persons or organizations necessary for the direct
implementation of storage concept components such
as space agencies, space entrepreneurs, university
consortiums, and non-profit organizations. Secondary
stakeholders are those persons and organizations
necessary for indirect implementation of storage
concept components such as the general public,
crowdsourcing participants and the media.
This paper develops storage concepts
considering the needs of the primary stakeholders;
however, those needs are of course informed by the
secondary stakeholders. It is important to note that
stakeholders are not synonymous with customers in
this context because although their investment is vital
for the success of the product (the storage concept), it
will be their investment of time, further development,
etc. that is vital rather than a purchase, in monetary
form, of a product. The scope of primary stakeholders
was determined based on fulfillment of three main
criteria: stakeholders are interested in timeframes on
the scale of hundreds of thousands to billions of years,
stakeholders are interested in storage in space, and
stakeholders are interested in the storage of encoded
information (rather than physical artifacts).
Table 1: An assessment of criteria used to identify primary stakeholders for space eternal memory concepts.
Longevity (years)
Storage Medium
Location in Space
500 years (Richards J. ,
2014)
MicroSD cards (Richards J.
, 2015)
Mars (Richards J. , 2014)
1 billion years (Iron,
2015)
Digital content and DNA
(Iron, 2015)
Deep Moon (Iron, 2015)
Unspecified
Digital content
(timecapsuletomars, 2015)
Mars (timecapsuletomars,
2015)
50,000 years (KEO,
2015)
DVD (KEO, 2015)
Orbiting Earth (KEO, 2015)
10,000 years (Kelly,
2008)
Electroformed, etched disk
(Welcher, 2015)
67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
(Kelly, 2008); ISS (Rose, 2011)
1 million years (Human
Document Project, 2014)
Unspecified
Unspecified
Unspecified
Digital content (One Earth,
2015)
Moving through space on
spacecraft (One Earth, 2015)
Unspecified
Flash data memory vault
(Moonspike, 2015)
Subsurface Moon (Moonspike,
2015)
Table 1 outlines primary stakeholders and specifies
how they meet the criteria to the precision that is currently available from the literature and some
personal interviews. Some of the projects in Table 1
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IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 7 of 18
specify longevity as a concept development driver,
although quantitative timespans are not specified in
available data.
V.II Gather raw data
The most important raw data for determining
stakeholder needs are motivations for storage.
Motivations for storage will inform design of the
storage concept. This section will group and analyze
these motivations as targets (needs) that the space
eternal memory concept must enable and support.
After looking at the motivations of these
various initiatives, motivations were organized into
two groups, “outward”-focused motivations and
“inward”-focused motivations. “Outward”-focused
motivations are defined as motivations which focus
on the needs of people or a society not currently on the
Earth (e.g. future generations, alien species). An
example is the motivation to preserve comprehensive
or key information for future generations. “Inward”-
focused motivations are defined as motivations which
focus on the needs of people and the society currently
living on the Earth. An example is the motivation to
inspire students to join STEM fields.
Each space mission from Table 1 was
analyzed and tabulated in terms of its “outward”- and
“inward”-facing motivations. This analysis revealed
that space missions have shifted over the last 40 years
from being more explicitly “outward”-focused to
being more explicitly “inward”-focused. Ongoing
initiatives which seek to communicate with ancestors
far away in time do exist, such as the Rosetta Disk and
the Human Document Project, but these initiatives are
still primarily terrestrial.
Many contemporary proposals are motivated
by potential affects to humans currently living on
Earth. For example, projects are focused on
connecting people via social media on a global scale
or looking to a near-future colonization of Mars. The
focus on connectivity, entrepreneurship and do-it-
yourself submission of information mirrors
generational shifts over the last 50 years (Gibson,
2013). Motivations accommodate these tendencies
while also inviting people to consider the negative
effects of accelerated pace and use of technology.
Motivations of initiatives such as the Rosetta Disk
include addressing digital obsolescence and
information loss so that society can benefit from the
abundance of information by collecting it coherently
and storing it with care.
V.III Interpret raw data in terms of stakeholder needs
The interpretation of stakeholder needs is
extracted from explicit motivations. The “Stakeholder
Statement” in Table 2 is a direct statement from public
data or personal interviewing, while the “Interpreted
Need” has been extracted and will form a basis for
establishing space eternal memory concept
specifications in subsequent development stages.
Table 4 offers a sampling of Stakeholder Statements
and Interpreted Needs and is not comprehensive for
each stakeholder.
Storage concept was defined in Figure 1 as a
description of the form, function and features of a
space eternal memory concept. At this stage, the
“Interpreted Need” will distinguish between only the
storage concept (SC) as a whole and the capabilities of
the storage technology (T).
Table 2: A sampling of needs interpreted from stakeholder statements of motivation.
Mission
Stakeholder Statement
Interpreted Need
Lunar Mission One
We want to support other project goals by
providing funding sources (Lunar Mission
One Ltd, 2015).
The SC provides a funding source.
The Rosetta Disk
We want to encourage the principle that for
information to last, people have to care
(The Long Now Foundation, 2015).
The SC encourages public
engagement.
The Human Document
Project
We want to assure that key aspects of
contemporary culture remain for a very
long time (Manz, 2015).
The SC establishes a method for
selecting key aspects of culture; the
T stores information for one million
years.
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V.IV Organize needs into a hierarchy and establish
relative importance
The interpreted needs establish target
specifications for space eternal memory concepts.
Redundant statements from the identified needs are
eliminated. Needs are grouped according to similarity
in Table 3. The primary needs on the left side are the
most general needs, while the secondary needs on the
right side are expressed in more detail (Ulrich &
Eppinger, 1995). This hierarchy informs the needs for
which metrics are applied.
Table 3: Hierarchy of needs for space eternal memory concepts.
Primary Need
Secondary Need
1 The storage concept is directly accessible through
social media to people everywhere.
1a The storage concept is simple.
1b The storage concept encourages global public
engagement.*
1c The storage concept supports large amounts of
information.*
1d The storage concept encourages global science
education.*
2 The storage concept moves us toward becoming a
dual-planet species.
2a The storage concept survives in the Martian or lunar
environment.
2b The storage concept sets the precedent for art as a
pillar of future life on Mars.
2c The storage concept is accessible to future colonists
on Mars or the Moon.
3 The storage concept encourages positive human
relationships on a global scale..
3a The storage concept encourages freedom of
expression and artistic expression.
3b The storage concept encourages global science
education.*
3c The storage concept raises awareness of the problem
of digital obsolescence and information loss.
3d The storage concept encourages global public
engagement.
4 The storage concept serves as a way to both embrace
and constrain the information age.
4a The storage concept supports large amounts of
information.
4b The storage concept has a method for
comprehensive selection of information.
4c The storage concept provides a funding source.
4d The storage concept raises awareness of the
problem of digital obsolescence and information
loss.*
5 The storage device stores information without
damage for a very long time.
5a The storage concept uses advanced new
technologies.
5b The information is decipherable by future
descendants and/or other species.
5c The storage concept has a high chance of surviving
without established environmental conditions.
V.V Needs-metrics matrix
At this stage, it was considered if all
important stakeholders had been assessed, if latent
needs had been considered, and which identified
stakeholders would be good participants in ongoing
development efforts. Lunar Mission One, the Long
Now Foundation and the Human Document Project
all had viable contacts for interviews, had public
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IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 9 of 18
evidence of ongoing progress, and were proposing
the longest time durations. These three stakeholders
were selected for the development of space eternal
memory concepts for this research.
The Long Now Foundation is a non-profit
organization that was established in 1996 to foster
long-term thinking and responsibility in the
framework of the next 10,000 years (Long Now
Foundation, 2015). One of its projects is the Rosetta
Disk which is described in Section III.
The Rosetta Project has designed the Rosetta
Disk specifically for its purposes. However, these
purposes have been primarily focused on terrestrial
storage. Development of a completely new Rosetta
disk for space is for future work and is of interest to
the Rosetta Project (Welcher, Director of The Rosetta
Project, 2015). A more significant analysis in this
research for the Rosetta Project will be the comparison
of viable locations for storage (Table 4).
Based on the collection of interpreted needs,
it is determined that Primary Needs 3, 4 and 5 and
Secondary Needs 3c, 3d, 4a, 4b, 4d, 5b, and 5c (Table
3) are the most important for a space eternal memory
concept for the Long Now Foundation and the Rosetta
Project. A metric is applied to each need on the level
of Secondary Needs. Some needs cannot be easily
translated into quantifiable metrics, and these are
indicated by a qualitative 1-5 point scale (Ulrich &
Eppinger, 1995).
Table 4: Compared metrics for various storage locations in space based on Rosetta Project needs.
Metric
Under the
surface of
the Moon
Under the
surface of
Mars
Comet
Traveling
on-board a
S/C
Icy moon
Planet
around an
M star
Instills human
agency
5
5
3
3
4
3
Public awareness
4
4
4
4
4
2
Adaptability of
technology
4
4
3
5
4
1
Memory density
3
3
2
3
2
1
System for
involving experts
4
4
3
4
2
Unknown
Probability of
discovery
4
4
1
1
3
3
Stability (years)
1 billion
1 billion
Hundreds of
millions
(Kelly, 2008)
Millions
(Sagan,
1972)
Millions to
billions of
Millions to
billions
Radiation
Anorthosite
rock (Iron,
2015)
Background
radiation
Harsh ionizing
Harsh
ionizing
Harsh
ionizing
Harsh
ionizing
Micrometeoroid,
Dust
Negligible
Negligible
Protection
needed
Protection
needed
Protection
needed
Unknown
Temperature
~123 K
(Iron, 2015)
Varies
(Paton,
2013)
343 K (ESA,
2014)*
Varies
Varies
Varies
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The Lunar Mission One initiative is
distinctive from the Rosetta Project because the
project already selected a location for storage, the
Moon. In this case, competitive benchmarking is
completed only for a viable storage technology for the
Lunar Mission One but with the same methodology as
seen in Table 4.
Lunar Mission One recently received
sufficient funding through Kickstarter to begin
developing space missions and programs for further
Moon science and education (Lunar Mission One Ltd,
2015). The project seeks to preserve individual ‘digital
memory boxes’ alongside a public archive and an
encyclopedic archive of the Earth’s biodiversity.
Currently the public can reserve a digital memory box
for a 50-500 USD pledge (Iron, 2015). This project is
also distinctive from the Rosetta Project because of its
crowdsourcing nature. The project is concerned with
its business plan and how this plan will support
broader mission goals such as preserving information
and advancing drill technology. The lynchpin of the
business plan is the storage of human hairs under the
Moon’s surface. It is still undecided how these hairs
alongside the digital data will be stored, and the
selection of digital technology is something the project
coordinators expect three years to decide on (Iron,
2015). Although these hairs are physical artifacts, they
are considered in this paper as a necessary
combinatory to the storage of digital data.
This research determines that Primary Needs
1, 3 and 5 and Secondary Needs 1b, 1c, 1d, 3b, 3d, 5a,
5b, and 5c (Table 3) are most important for a space
eternal memory concept for Lunar Mission One. As
before, a metric is applied to each need and metrics are
compared for various long-duration storage
technologies explored in Section III (Table 5).
Table 5: Compared metrics for various long-duration storage technologies based on Lunar Mission One needs.
Metric
Si3N4/T-based
Gigayear Storage
(de Vries, 2013)
Hitachi silica glass
(Hitachi, 2014)
5D data storage on
silica glass
(Zhang, 2013)
Rosetta micro-
etched nickel (The
Long Now
Foundation,
2015); (Kelly,
2008)
DNA microchips
(Church, Gao, &
Kosuri, 2012)
Generational
bacteria DNA
storage (Mohan,
Vinodh, & Jeevan,
2013)
Instills human
agency
5
4
4
5
4
4
Global
education
4
2
2
3
3
3
Readout
Camera +
computer
Optical
micro-
scope
Optical
microscope
Optical micro-
scope
DNA
sequencing
DNA decoding
Memory
density
Dep. on
photo-
lithography
(Manz,
2015)
40 MB/in2
360 TB /
DVD-sized
disk
40 GB / 2.4-in
diameter
(Welcher,
2015)
Hundreds of
TB / 1g of
DNA
0.1 GB /
genome
Current
application
Research
Industry
Research
Non-profit
outreach
Research
Research
Development
2 years
1 year
2 years
7 years
3 years
8 years
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Metric
Si3N4/T-based
Gigayear Storage
(de Vries, 2013)
Hitachi silica glass
(Hitachi, 2014)
5D data storage on
silica glass
(Zhang, 2013)
Rosetta micro-
etched nickel (The
Long Now
Foundation,
2015); (Kelly,
2008)
DNA microchips
(Church, Gao, &
Kosuri, 2012)
Generational
bacteria DNA
storage (Mohan,
Vinodh, & Jeevan,
2013)
Probability of
discovery
4
3
3
4
4
4
Mutability
Write-
once-read-
many
Write-
once-read-
many
Write-once-
read-many
Write-once-
read-many
Read/write
Mutating
Levels of
encoding
Binary
Binary
Binary
Human
language
Digital
encoded in
DNA
Digital encoded
in DNA
Space environ-
ment
Untested
Shin-en 2
(Hitachi,
2012)
Untested
Space station
(Rose, 2011)
Untested
Untested
Energy barrier
against erasure
1 hour at
848 K (de
Vries,
2013)
2 hours at
~811 K
(Hitachi,
2014)
Thermal
stability at
~1273 K
(Zhang,
2013)
65 hours at
~372 K and
~572 K (Los
Alamos
Laboratories,
1999)
Unknown
Unknown
Storage
medium type
Tungsten in
silicon-
nitride
Silica
glass
encoded
Silica glass
encoded
Electroplate/
microetching
on nickel
(Welcher,
2015)
Encoded
DNA
Encoded
Bacterial DNA
Hard vacuum
Untested
Untested
Untested
Tested
Untested
Untested
Maximum
lifetime of
technology
Millions to
billions of
years
Millions
to billions
of years
Millions to
billions of
years
2,000 to
10,000 years
10,000 years
Millions of
years
These analyses were completed for all
stakeholders for either storage technology, storage
location or both. These needs-metrics matrixes were
used to develop the storage concepts shown in Section
VI.
VI. STORAGE CONCEPT CASE STUDIES
The following sections will address the
problems to solve’ in the development of storage
concepts and will generate concepts for three specific
stakeholders: the Rosetta Project, Lunar Mission One,
and the Human Document Project. The methodology
used is step 3.0 from Figure 3. This step consists of
breaking down complex problems into subproblems
and identifying solution concepts at the subproblem
level. Concept combination tables, as seen in Table 6,
are used to explore systematically and to integrate
subproblem solutions into a total solution. This paper
decomposes problems by key stakeholder needs,
which is an approach most useful for products in
which form is the primary problem (Ulrich &
Eppinger, 1995). This method made the most sense for
assessing different parts of the storage concept such as
the contents to be stored, the storage device, and the
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storage location selection. Figure 5 shows the main
problems decomposed into subproblems which are
expressed as questions to be answered.
Figure 5: Decomposition of problems by key stakeholder
needs.
The concept combination table in Table 6 is
an example of a concept combination table for the
Human Document Project. The concept combination
table provides a way to consider combinations of
solution fragments more systematically. Sometimes
combinations of two or more options from a single
column allow for a synergetic solution. Complete
descriptions of each concept for each of the three
selected stakeholders are given in Sections VI.I
through VI.III.
VI.I The Long Now Foundation and the Rosetta Disk
Table 4 helps establish a location which
satisfies the needs of a Rosetta Disk in space. Difficult
to access locations such as a comet or a location
outside of our Solar System lose value because they
are inaccessible to future descendants 10,000 years in
the future.
Table 6: Concept combination table with components selected for the Human Document Project.
Contents
Storage Device
Storage Location
(a) Select
Content
(b) Teach
(c) Protect
(d) Decode
(e) Distribute
(f) Attract
Attention
Online portal
Integration of
databases
Input of key
experts
Focused
conference
Input of key
stakeholders
interested in
eternal
memory
Randomly
selected
documents
Combination
system
Ontology tree
Line drawings
Use of
universal
mathematical
symmetries in
nature, e.g. a
lunar crater
with rays
(Benford,
1999)
Dictionary
Picture-based
dictionary
Use of sound
Combination
system
Embed in
amber (Manz,
2015)
Acrylic case
(Welcher,
Director of
The Rosetta
Project, 2015)
Meteorite-safe
box
Silicon device
with
protective
coating
(Manz, 2015)
Redundancy
(sheer number
of copies)
Instruction
manual for
how to build
reader
Map included
of different
burial sites
Cocktail of
radioactive
isotopes
(Timer)
(Manz, 2015)
Combination
astronomical
events (Timer)
Pictures based
on nature
One copy (with
key)
LOCKSS (Lots of
Copies Keeps Stuff
Safe) (Welcher,
2008)
Parts of a puzzle,
referring to each
other
Bioluminescence
Historical markers
(Nazca lines,
Stonehenge)
Dispersed tags of
magnetic, acoustic
or radioactive signs
(Benford, 1999)
Metal residuals
(Davies, Bintliff,
Gaffney, & Waters,
1988)
Permanent magnets
producing artificial
pattern (Clarke,
1968)
Granite disks
perceived by
acoustic probes
(Benford, 1999)
Radioactive marker
Contents
How will the
content be
selected?
How will it
teach?
Storage
device
How will it
be protected?
How will it
be decoded?
Storage
Location
Where will
it be
distributed?
How will it
attract
attention?
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The eternal memory will be in an accessible
location to human beings and a location likely to be
colonized and rediscovered by future descendants.
Storing something on the Moon, Mars or an icy moon
makes the information more accessible to future
generations. Within the next 10,000 years, an
interplanetary transport network (see Section IV) may
provide greater ease in access to locations like Mars or
the Jovian moons (Ross, 2006). Memory density
becomes less of an issue with more frequent access
because multiple packages of information can be sent
across trips. The close proximity and likelihood of
settlement increases the probability of the information
being found.
The Rosetta disk itself has higher data density
than the de Vries and Hitachi technology (see Table 5)
and also uses a lower level of encoding which is more
accessible to human readers. These other technologies
are only superior in the longevity category, but the
Rosetta project does not look at periods longer than
10,000 years in order to keep the project within the
scope of human agency (Welcher, Director of The
Rosetta Project, 2015). A space-rated Rosetta Disk
will be buried on a nearby celestial body.
The Long Now Foundation already selects its
content by integrating expert knowledge with
information submitted to an online portal. Regular
focused conferences, including linguists or others who
live in remote locations, will supply additional
information.
In addition to the decoder ring system already
used by the Rosetta Disk, pictures based on nature will
be added as a type of ontology tree. These objects are
easily matched to nature even as language changes.
Super, master, and slave pictures will communicate
interrelations that are not communicated in dictionary
form (Manz, 2015).
The most effective form of protection is
redundancy. The Rosetta Disk will fly aboard
spacecraft to the Moon, Mars and the icy moons. It is
recommended, for example, that the Rosetta Disk
information fly in some form with Lunar Mission One.
Burying the disk will protect it, with background
radiation still needing more exploration. Eventually, a
silicon-wafer Rosetta Disk will be manufactured,
although storage density would need to be further
explored. This silicon-wafer will be protected with
some layer such as amber.
Providing a cocktail of radioisotopes will not
only date the storage of the device but will also make
it easy to sense if the device is buried. Difficulties of
this solution include that the radioactivity may change
the material of the device. A solution is to store the
radioactive material in a separate location with a more
durable key holding limited information and
instructions for finding multiple burial sites.
This description is a first iteration of a
concept solution. The concept should be refined
through the concept selection phases seen in Figure 3.
VI.II Lunar Mission One
Ideal storage technologies for the Lunar
Mission One project were discussed in Section V.V.
The tungsten silicon-nitride data storage and the DNA
data storage score well in terms of human agency,
outreach and longevity. The DNA storage is
unbeatable in terms of data density but would be
sensitive to radiation if not carefully protected. Since
the hair strands are a vital part of the Lunar Mission
One business plan, it should be assumed that the
protection from radiation of the DNA must be a
problem worked out before launch and burial. Other
considerations with DNA storage are the processing
cost, which are potentially very high, and the
decodability for future generations, which is more
involved than a disk with human language.
These technologies would also need to
undergo further testing in a simulated or actual space
environment. The cost of specific materials and
manufacturing techniques of these devices need to be
further explored due to the importance of cost for
Lunar Mission One. The Rosetta Disk, for example, is
extremely expensive to produce. It sells at about
10,000 to 15,000 USD for a disk (Welcher, Director of
The Rosetta Project, 2015) and would not be viable for
the general public to purchase to send to the Moon.
Table 5 presents the extent to which a given
storage technology satisfies the needs of Lunar
Mission One. The Rosetta Disk does not meet
requirements in terms of longevity and cost, although
it is the most easily decodable. The optical storage
technologies have greater longevity but are more
difficult to decode and have not been tested in a space
environment. It is also unknown if the tungsten
silicon-nitride storage would have an appropriate
memory density while retaining its longevity (Manz,
2015). DNA data storage has huge memory density but
has not been tested in a space environment and would
be difficult for future generations to decode. A
combination of storage technologies may be the best
solution.
A combination of encoding schemes will be
used. It is likely that human hair will survive for
extremely long time scales at these low temperatures,
as in a vacuum temperature will dominate the decay
process (Grass, 2015). However, it will be possible to
use digital DNA storage for redundancy if processing
costs can be minimized. This DNA storage will also
serve as the data carrier of the Lunar Mission One’s
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proposed Encyclopedia of Life, an integration of
existing biodiversity archives (Iron, 2015).
Lunar Mission One will involve publically-
submitted data. It will also compile a global database
of biodiversity (Iron, 2015). Universities and
institutions worldwide will be contacted and a team
will be established for combining databases.
The device will be stored near or at radial
symmetries found in nature, such as a lunar crater with
rays (Benford, 1999). These symmetries will be linked
to mathematical series used in the encoding. One
Rosetta Disk will appear as the top layer of
information or another disk with a spiral of human
symbols which entices the reader to learn more and to
build a device to read more.
The most effective form of protection is
redundancy. Including several types of devices is
recommended. Lunar Mission One is the first in a
planned series of flights to the Moon by the same
consortium. The first mission will take the first capsule
and bury it. Additional markers and locations will
follow in later missions. Burying the disk will protect
it, with background radiation needing more
exploration. Tungsten silicon-nitride disks will be
manufactured, depending on further exploration of
cost and storage density.
Providing several devices helps in decoding
of the information. An initial disk with human symbols
offers basic enticement and instructions. This disk will
appear at the top of a memory package as discussed
above. Over time, the decoding of optical and digital
DNA data storage occurs, and other storage locations
are found. Having the instruction manual on how to
find other locations and types of storage in human
language will make that part of the concept most
accessible to current humans on Earth. It is a good
source of science education for the public on how
more complicated storage devices function, such as
the optical and the DNA storage. The integration of
technologies is aligned with the Lunar Mission One
scaling of memory packages; different investors
reserve different types of memory devices for varying
costs. Also to note, the manufacturing of different
parts of a puzzle in order to distribute the information
would result in too much specialization and too much
cost. Replicating-based redundancy is preferred for
this stakeholder.
Since the mission will occur in phases, a first
step is to bury the initial device installed in the drill bit
which has about a 3cm-diameter, 10m-height cylinder
as the archive volume (Iron, 2015). Subsequent
missions will develop a long-term system for marking
including leaving “minor moles” (small, dispersed
tags of magnetic, acoustic or weakly radioactive signs)
(Benford, 1999) or a larger marker such as historical
pyramids or stones corresponding to the sky. Larger
markers would need more ethical and legal
consideration.
Use of a natural mathematical symmetries
found on the Moon’s surface can be used to mark a
spot and these symmetries can relate mathematically
to a key written in human symbols on the disk as
discussed above. This solution both entices a future
reader to learn more and is valuable educational
outreach for Earth’s current young math students.
VI.III. The Human Document Project
The Human Document Project is a
consortium of loosely-affiliated researchers,
academics and enthusiasts who gather for a conference
every two years (Manz, 2015). The project is
multidisciplinary and aims to preserve a document on
key aspects of contemporary culture for one million
years. The project in interested in all aspects of storage
including content, system, technology, material of the
data carrier, protection of the storage media and
coding (Human Document Project, 2014). Although
mostly terrestrially-based, researchers have
considered storage in space (Elwenspoek, 2011).
Unlike the Rosetta Project and Lunar Mission
One, the Human Document Project is neither using a
specific storage technology nor has it established a
specific location in space for storage. Using the same
metrics seen in Table 4 and Table 5, storage
technologies and storage locations are assessed for the
Human Document Project. Because the Human
Document Project is interested in longer time scales
than the Rosetta Project, only optical storage and
digital DNA storage technologies suffice. These
technologies offer greater ease for redundancy which
is vital over longer time periods. DNA is also the
oldest data storage in existence and is appealing as a
use of mimicry to ensure survival (Manz, 2015).
Any physical object sent outside our Solar
System will be almost impossible to recover by
humans on Earth (Manz, 2015). Difficult to access
locations such as a comet or a location outside of our
Solar System lose value because they are inaccessible
to future descendants. Humanity did not look for
information about old civilizations outside of the Solar
System or at the Lagrangian points of Jupiter (Manz,
2015). But if within the next one million years, the icy
moons of the gas giants are part of an interplanetary
transport network, then these are potential locations
hominids will go looking for information about past
civilizations. If a device is stored under the surface, a
beacon or marker will be important. It is also an idea
to invest planets or the Moon with bacterial DNA
holding stored information, but ethical and legal
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IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 15 of 18
considerations should be carefully considered before
implementation.
Information shall be supported by technology
with high data densities, such as DNA, and shall be
stored within our Solar System. Content shall be
selected through the Human Document Project
consortium with input from the public similar in form
to the online Rosetta Project database.
Silicon-wafer disk keys will communicate
information through ontology trees. Key information
in these ontology trees will point toward the bacterial
(or other) species carrying the information in its DNA.
DNA-encoded species will be protected by
redundancy. The silicon-wafer key will be buried in
multiple locations on celestial bodies. Burying the disk
will protect it, with background radiation needing
more exploration. This silicon-wafer will be cut into
5x5mm chips and embedded in amber (Manz, 2015).
On moons with oceans or lakes, such as Titan and
Europa, DNA will be stored in bacteria. In Earth’s
history, the deep sea is least affected by events such as
asteroids.
Bioluminescence will be used as a marker for
the species carrying the information. Markers for the
silicon wafer key should be explored in more depth in
future research.
VII. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK
The first question many people ask about
eternal memory is about why it would or should be
done. Motivations for storage inform everything else,
from the design of the device to the location of storage.
Eternal memory projects have become more “inward”-
focused because it is the only way they can
pragmatically exist. If projects do not entice the care
and investment of currently existing people, there is no
system to support them. Short-term focuses outweigh
long-term thinking in society. This is an innate
challenge of and balancing act for the success of
eternal memory projects.
Motivations for space eternal memory range
from preserving comprehensive information for future
generations, to inspiring young science students, to
involving the public directly with space missions, to
encouraging humanity toward becoming a dual-planet
species. There is also now technological capabilities to
store information on the scale of millions to billions of
years. In developing space eternal memory concepts
for stakeholders, it is a aim of this paper to
demonstrate the possible value of storing information
in space for a very long time. It is also the aim of this
paper to create links between existing stakeholders and
to explore these topics in an interdisciplinary way.
The development of storage concepts
revealed specific tradeoffs involved in a space eternal
memory concept and possible gaps for further
exploration. Choosing bodies in our Solar System such
as the Moon or other planetary moons enables easier
access to future humans. Burying the information
subsurface may protect the information from damage
by temperature, moisture, and ionizing radiation.
However, the questions of how to mark the spot and
how to attract future visitors to the spot become more
challenging.
The results of the analyses using product
development methodology produced three storage
concepts. The Rosetta Project concept and the Lunar
Mission One concept have concrete avenues of
implementation, given their funding sources and
interest in a near-future launch by the stakeholders.
The Human Document Project concept is interesting
and fits stakeholder needs but may be difficult to
implement given planetary protection considerations.
However, it offers an interesting thought experiment
which may be useful for the general pursuit of putting
eternal memory into space.
The most immediate next step necessary for
implementation is to develop the product development
methodology further and conduct a more robust
analysis using a concept selection matrix (Ulrich &
Eppinger, 1995). This is a more detailed concept
selection phase that could be used for more systematic
concept selection. A second important next step is
developing the technical robustness of each concept.
This includes the testing of storage technologies in a
space environment, generating design sketches and
CAD models for each concept, and increasing our
knowledge of specific storage location environments
such as the subsurface Moon. Much is still unknown
about the lunar interior in terms of temperature
gradients and background radiation levels.
This paper is a combination of exploring the
human motivations which drive preservation instinct
and setting methodology to those instincts in order to
output product-type concepts. It is the hope of the
authors that this research into space eternal memory
concepts will encourage both philosophical and
technical inquiry, and that an eternal memory concept
will someday be launched into space.
VIII. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Thank you to Laura Welcher, David Iron, and
Andreas Manz for the fun and informative interviews.
Thank you also to the following people who offered
consultation, information, and recommendations:
Robert Grass, Abigail Calzada Diaz, Hugh Hill, Josh
Richards, and Ed Chester.
66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel. Copyright ©2015 by M Guzman, A Hein and C Welch. Published by the IAF, with
permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.
IAC-15-D4.1.3 Page 16 of 18
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