“I have some files, photos, writings that I would like to store forever. I would like them available for all generations to come. As a way to remember me for what I have done, learned, created in this life. But also as a safe way to keep important documents that I want to share only with designated people.”
These are very common human needs, changing lately from every kind of material to digital.
Storing information on a digital device has become the standard form for keeping our lifetime creations saved in an easy and practical way. The downside of this is the problem that the life expectancy of digital devices is short.
Usual Hard Drives have a life expectancy of 4 years while Solid State drives life expectancy is of 10 Years. CDs, if you remember, were launched on the market as the solution for the ‘eternal storage device’. Now if I go back and try to read some of my CDs that are 10 years old, many of them are unreadable. This means that I lost invaluable content!!!
Of course, today you can also use Cloud Storage. Like the one offered from Google, where you keep and backup your data.
But what if the information you want to store is private?
What if it is of financial importance and you don’t want to save it in a place that can be accessed without your consent? Cold storage systems are a possible solution? This is how are defined system designed for the retention of inactive data.
The easiest example of cold storage can be your USB Key. The life span of a USB Key, that is not used, often can go up to 10 years. Still, we are a long way from a device whose life can be extended ‘forever’.
5D optical Data Storage, also known as ‘Superman Memory Crystal’, is a technology developed by the University of Southampton. We can read in their studies and from the article published in February 2016 that ‘Eternal 5D data storage could record the history of humankind’.
The research study claims that the memory crystals can store in a single device up to 360 terabytes of data for billions of years. The device can withstand extreme temperatures up to 190°Celsius.
Arch Mission Foundation (https://www.archmission.org) is the first maker of the ‘Superman Memory Crystal’ and has the aim to create many redundant repositories of human knowledge and has the objective to send them in Satellites around the solar system.
One of the disks made of the ‘Superman Memory Crystal’ has been sent into space on Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster in February 2018. The car is in an elliptical orbit that extends 243 million miles from the sun at its farthest point.
Another disk has been sent on the Moon, from which the name ‘Lunar Library’. It contains scientific, cultural and historical information in almost 30 languages. Several encyclopaedias including Wikipedia are included. The Lunar Library was set to arrive on the Moon on the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet, but it crashed while attempting to land on the Moon in May 2019. Despite this, the 30-million-page Lunar Library survived due to the strength of its construction.
It will be interesting to see in the future this amazing technology available to the masses. Giving people the opportunity to save all their digital legacy, forever!
Up In The Skies project has the aim to create and share your digital legacy, possibly using technologies as the ‘Superman Memory Crystal’.