Archives will be going to the moon and beyond

Artwork shows Xcraft, the spacecraft being developed for interplanetary missions. (Xplore Illustration)

Seattle-based Xplore and the Arch Mission Foundation are teaming up on what sounds like “Mission: Impossible”: a plan to send the foundation’s Arch Libraries on space odysseys to the moon, Mars, Venus and near-Earth asteroids starting in 2021.

The micro-miniaturized compendiums of human knowledge, laser-etched on nickel to preserve the equivalent of 30 million pages of information, are to be attached as payloads to Xplore’s Xcraft spacecraft and sent into deep space on rockets to be named later.

“Our civilization’s knowledge is precious. Helping distribute Arch Libraries in space is an important way to secure this valuable data,” Xplore CEO Jeff Rich said in a news release. “The Xplore team is proud to host the Lunar Library payload on our missions.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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