The “Doomsday” seed vault in Svalbard, Norway holds more than a million crop samples in preparation for a possible catastrophic event. Now, scientists from the University of Arizona are suggesting sending human “seed” to space as an “insurance policy”.
The plan is to build an ark filled with 6.7 million sperm and ova samples to the moon. The “lunar pit” beneath the surface will store the samples.
“Earth is naturally a volatile environment,” said study author Jekan Thangavelautham in his presentation on the paper, titled “Lunar Pits and Lava Tubes for a Modern Ark,” adding that an Earth-based repository of samples would still leave specimens vulnerable to getting destroyed in a massive disaster.
The team of six researchers from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Aerospace Conference said the proposal would protect mankind from extinction in case of a catastrophic disaster such as an epidemic, supervolcanic eruption, large-scale nuclear war, widespread drought, or asteroid.
Although seems like a plot from a sci-fi novel, the scientists calculated the samples would be safe if cryogenically-frozen and maintained by solar-powered facility.
Álvaro Díaz-Flores Caminero, doctoral student leading the thermal analysis for the project, said that projects like these bring mankind “closer to becoming a space civilization, and to a not-very-distant future where humankind will have bases on the Moon and Mars.”