There's one place you may not have thought to store your valuable computer information. Just look up.
Hollow lava tubes on the Moon could be used as a giant digital library. That's one commercial possibility for the Moon put forth in a white paper by a NASA scientist.
In addition to being able to relay information to Earth like geosynchronous satellites, a lunar-based system could also process and store information, says David McKay.
The lunar computers could be buried in lunar soil, put at the bottom of craters or set into lava tubes, which are subsurface caves in which lava used to flow. Previously, scientists have suggested using lava tubes for human habitation.
Commercial data stored on Earth can be destroyed by natural disasters, wars or fires. In 500 BC, the Royal Library of Alexandria in Egypt housed records of the ancient world, and the entire library or at least some collections were ruined in a fire. The benefits of lunar storage are that there is no oxygen to erode the material, constant sub-freezing temperature and the Moon is currently free of all of the havoc wreaked by humankind.
Astronauts on lunar missions could set up the data communication and storage system if they return to the Moon.
The Moon could be used like Noah's ark, hosting a collection of plant and animal material, proposes McKay, who made headlines a decade ago when he and others announced that Martian meteorite ALH 84001 had rod-like structures that appeared to be fossilised microbes.
Families could even pay a fee to preserve photographs in the lunar library for future civilizations. McKay calls it the "ultimate time capsule."
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Not-so-local lunar library
From: New Scientist
Posted by David Booker at 9:39 AM