Scientists want to build a huge underground ‘Doomsday vault’ on the Moon

Clara Hill@clara_ish
Wednesday 17 March 2021 16:27
news

The moon is a proposed location for a vault.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Scientists want to create an underground structure to store materials that can save us in case of an apocalypse-style situation.

Proposed items to go in this bunker include seeds, spores, sperm and egg samples from various Earth species, according to scientists. These would be cryogenically frozen, stored away in tunnels underneath the moon’s surface, CNN reports.

The scientists labelled it “a modern global insurance policy” for over 6 million species found on Earth, acting as insurance against the decimation of our planet.

“Earth is a naturally volatile environment.” Jekan Thanga said, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Arizona, in a statement.

“As humans, we had a close call about 75,000 years ago with the Toba supervolcanic eruption, which caused a 1,000 year cooling period and, according to some, aligns with an estimated drop in human diversity. Because human civilisation has such a large footprint if it were to collapse, that could have a negative cascading effect on the rest of us.”

There are similar programmes, such as the Global Seed Vault which houses over 1 million samples of seeds on Svalbard, an island between Norway and the North Pole.

Concerns are that the temperatures need to be delicately maintained. Seeds and stem cells must be stored at very cold but different levels, but if the structure becomes too cold, they can fuse together.

Additionally, the moon’s gravity levels are foreign to the researchers therefore it needs to be explored if something like this could thrive there. However, existing lava tunnels could be a great starting point to begin work into this groundbreaking project.

Other moon construction projects have already been greenlit after Russia and China agreed to work together on a lunar space station for international use.

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