The likelihood of a global catastrophe caused by humans, accompanied by the death of millions of people, animals and plants, is very high and is constantly increasing. According to scientists, we are talking about the impending sixth mass extinction.
Unsurprisingly, under these conditions, a team of researchers from the University of Arizona (UA) developed the concept of building a bio-storage facility on the moon called “Noah’s Ark”, which will collect millions of earthly samples of seeds, spores, sperm and eggs.
Its prototype was the global seed storage facility in Svalbard in the Arctic. It is a giant seed bank of nearly a million samples of the world’s most important food crops, created in the event of a global disaster.
However, in 2016, as a result of the melting of the permafrost, water began to penetrate into the storage facility, which indicates its unreliability and vulnerability in the face of global climate change. As it turned out, there are very few absolutely safe places on Earth.
Scientists from UA have proposed an unusual solution to this problem – to place a repository of terrestrial biomaterials on … the Moon. They are convinced that it is our satellite that is the ideal place to place the “Noah’s Ark”: it is uninhabited, it is stably cold, there are no earthquakes and flooding that create problems in earthly conditions.
According to the researchers, the ideal place for the “Noah’s Ark” on the moon – lava tubes hidden under the surface. It will be possible to get to the vaults using the elevators. The storage temperature for seeds will be approximately –180 °, and for animal cells –196 ° C. The storage facility will be provided with solar panels located on the surface.
Cold modules have another plus – at cryogenic temperatures, the effect of quantum levitation occurs, in which a superconducting material hangs over a powerful magnet, which can be used to install shelves with samples.
The main problem of the lunar “Noah’s Ark” is the delivery of samples from Earth. Scientists estimate that it will take about 250 launches to transport only 50 samples from each of the 6.7 million species.