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An archive of human history has been shot into space

A 30-million-page archive of human history is currently on its way to the moon.

An Israeli built spacecraft headed for the moon was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week. Onboard is a small DVD disc carrying the building blocks of human civilisation in 30 million pages of information.

The unmanned robotic explorer named Beresheet – Hebrew for ‘genesis’ – was launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Musk’s continued quest to become Emperor of the universe. The disk is intended to become an archive of human history, or ‘lunar library’, and is meant to be a ‘civilisation back-up’ for either future generations or very surprised aliens.

The library reportedly includes a collection of songs, children’s drawings, and writing about Israeli culture and history. It also contains the entire English-language version of Wikipedia and a guide to 5000 languages, with 1.5 billion sample translations. I guess Wikipedia is still going strong despite all those times you refused to donate £3 to it (we’re all guilty!).

The project is the third in a series of curated archives that make up the Billion Year Archive Project. This initiative aims to put copies of important data in several places on Earth and in space so that the information is likelier to survive in the future, come what may.

It’s an extremely romantic thought: despite the complete lack of guarantee that humanity will be more than a blip on an incomprehensible timeline, we can now rest easy in the knowledge that our memory will be harder to erase. We’re tagging our corner of the universe: ‘humanity was here, 200,000 BCE – ?’ just so that someone might hear our music when we’re gone (please make it something good guys or that could be embarrassing).

The spaceship, which is about the size of a washing machine, will orbit the Earth in increasingly wider trajectories until it enters the moons gravitational field, and is expected to reach the moon by mid-April, where it will stay.

Bon Voyage Beresheet. You’re a little bit of all of us, and we salute you.