Space Arks

Storing data and DNA for millions of years as a modern version of Noah's Ark.

Updated: 2023-03-12

Created: 2018-12-07


First missions launched (Voyager Golden Disk, Arch Mission). Spacelife Origin planned, but was cancelled. While space ark is not directly a microgravity application, it benefits tremendously by being away from Earth surface and could be considered NewSpace and being a new business model using space.


  • Storing data for millions of years and more.
  • Storing DNA and reproduction cells in space.
  • New very long term storage methods for difficult environments.
  • Time capsule in space.
  • Local data caches throughout Solar System for local Internet.

Why & Solution

One of the key benefits of the Arch Mission Foundation™ is to provide a planetary backup of important human knowledge, that can persist for at least thousands to millions of years, and is not vulnerable to extinction level events on Earth. While we hope that a planetary backup is never needed, it's always wise to have an insurance policy in place. Other than stone, most of our storage media decays rapidly with time. Our own present civilization is increasingly reliant on perishable digital storage media that lasts only around 50 years. Without a concerted effort to backup this knowledge in a form that can survive for millennia it is more likely than not that it will perish. As well as protecting vital knowledge in the future, The Arch Mission Foundation will also serve as an inspiring catalyst for space education and international collaboration and understanding for people living in the present era. We will involve students and educators, as well as the wider public, in helping to contribute to and curate data sets, and to design and distribute Arch™ Libraries.3

The SpaceLife Ark protects your reproduction ‘Seeds-of-Life’ cells in space for the increasing threats that may threaten human life on earth.2

Pioneers 10 and 11, which preceded Voyager, both carried small metal plaques identifying their time and place of origin for the benefit of any other spacefarers that might find them in the distant future. With this example before them, NASA placed a more ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2, a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.1


Arch Mission Foundation page at Factories in Space

Mission is to preserve and disseminate humanity's most important information across time and space, for the benefit of future generations.

The Arch Mission Foundation designs, builds, delivers and maintains curated long-term archives, housed in specially designed devices called Archs™ (pronounced “Arks”).

Archs are being developed with a variety of form factors to survive for long durations in space, as well as on the surfaces of planets, moons and asteroids. The Archs are already the longest-lasting records of human civilization ever created, and possibly that ever will be created. They will last billions of years longer than the Pyramids. They may even last longer than our planet. In a million years the Archs™ may be the only remaining trace of our species and our civilization.

Ultra-long term storage in its Billion-Year Archive project. Billed as civilisation’s backup plan, the initiative ultimately seeks to build an interplanetary cloud for apocalypse-level disaster recovery, with distributed data repositories on Earth, the moon, near-Earth asteroids, orbiting the sun, and other places in the solar system.

BioServe Space Technologies page at Factories in Space

BioServe Space Technologies is a Center within the Ann and HJ Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences department at the University of Colorado Boulder. BioServe has designed, built, and flown microgravity life science research experiments and hardware on over 60 spaceflight missions.

On today's Crew-5 launch BioServe Space Technologies is launching a second LifeShip Genetic Capsule that contains DNA from thousands of people and hundreds of species to the International Space Station with the ultimate goal of building a biobank in space. Different from our fundamental research payloads, this is one of our purely commercial payloads that purchased its ride to the ISS from NASA's Commercial LEO Development Program.

BioServe Space Technologies and The University of Colorado Boulder, for example, aim to develop a specialized bioreactor to produce large populations of Hematopoietic Stem Cells with the ability to self-renew and the capability to differentiate into other blood cell types. These cells have the potential for treating serious medical conditions including blood cancers and disorders, severe immune diseases, and certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Flight History
To date, BioServe has designed, manufactured, and operated hundreds of science payloads on over 85 spaceflight missions. Our payloads have flown on six different types of spacecraft (Shuttle, Progress, Soyuz, HTV, Dragon, and Cygnus) and two space stations (Mir and ISS). We are continually developing new space life science research and designing new or updating existing hardware to support that research. This keeps BioServe on the forefront of space life science research.

Lonestar Data Holding page at Factories in Space

Lonestar provides premium secure immutable storage and edge processing services to our customers from the world's ultimate offsite backup location.

Earlier in 2022 Lonestar Data Holdings announced that it wants to build a data center on the Moon for backing up the world’s data and also supporting lunar edge processing needs. Taiwan-based SSD controller and storage product company Phison announced that their SSDs have been certified to be used in lunar data centers.

Lonestar wants to archive data on the moon in its lunar data centers to protect that data from human or natural damage and data loss. In addition, as more activities are done on the moon that generate data or need data processing, having a lunar data center facility will avoid the latency and energy consumption penalties from sending that data back to the earth.

In the latter half of 2023 NASA will send a Nova-C lander to the Moon’s South Pole on an Artemis spacecraft that is scheduled to include a hardware prototype from Lonestar. This is to be a one-kilogram storage device with 16TB of storage.

Lonestar said it has also signed a contract with Intuitive Machines to test data transfer and storage capabilities during the lander developer’s first mission, IM-1, which will attempt to land Nova-C at Oceanus Procellarum located at the western edge of the near side of the moon. These tests will use a software-only “virtual payload.”

Lonestar plans to do upload and download tests as well as running some applications on this lunar hardware using communication with radio signals. The company has talked about launching servers that can hold several petabytes of data in 2024 and 50PB by 2026 with data rates of 15Gb/s data rates. The company plans to use robots to install its hardware in lava tubes on the moon to shield its servers from wide swings in temperature and cosmic radiation.

Skycorp, Lonestar’s space logistics company, selected Phison to supply the storage for the Lonestar 2023 mission. In order to qualify Phison’s 8TB M.2 SSD had to pass NASA Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL-6) certification (see image below). This included running the product in deep cryogenic temperatures and in vacuum as well as electromagnetic environment testing and vibration and shock testing to simulate launching and landing.

Earthly Solution Risk

Small, because locations in space will be safer in many situations.