Arch Mission Foundation

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Arch Mission Foundation
IndustryCultural preservation
Founded2015; 4 years ago (2015)
Spring, Texas, U.S.
FoundersNova Spivack
Nick Slavin
Spring, Texas, U.S.
Los Angeles, California
Key people
Nova Spivack, co-founder
Nick Slavin, co-founder

Arch Mission Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to create multiple redundant repositories of human knowledge around the Solar System, including on Earth. It was founded by Nova Spivack and Nick Slavin in 2015 and incorporated in 2016.[2]


The foundation plans "multiple ... Arch libraries intended to preserve and disseminate humanity's knowledge across time and space for the benefit of future generations".[3] The foundation is technology agnostic and will use whichever storage technology is best for its purposes including multiple technologies. The first method used is "5D laser optical data storage in quartz", which will reportedly remain readable for up to 14 billion years, resist cosmic radiation, and can withstand temperatures up to 1,000°C.[4][5] The foundation also plans on spinning off companies based on patents from research groups involved with the technologies it uses to fund itself in the future.[6]

Data Archives[edit]

Arch disks 1 through 5[edit]

As a proof of concept of the 5D optical data storage technology, Arch made 5 disks each containing Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy comprising about 3 megabytes each (the disks can hold 360 terabytes).[7] The disks were created by Peter Kazansky at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), the inventor of the 5D optical data storage technology and who is on Arch Mission Foundation's "Science and Technology Council".[8] The discs are considered the longest-lasting storage objects ever created by humans.[9]

Solar Library[edit]

In December 2017, when Arch co-founder Novak Spivack heard that SpaceX was launching a Tesla into space, Spivack tweeted Musk who jumped at the opportunity to include one on the mission - Musk was a fan of the books. Musk was also given the 1.1 disk for his private library.[10][11] The 1.2 disk, named the 'Solar Library' by the Arch Mission Foundation also represents the first permanent space library,[12] and is projected to orbit around the sun for at least a few million years.[10] The Solar Library was launched on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy test flight on February 6, 2018, inside Musk's red Tesla Roadster.[13] The payload was placed in an elliptical orbit that extends nearly 243 million miles from the sun at its farthest point.[14]

Other projects[edit]

Arch hopes to seed the solar system with millions and possibly billions of archives into "all kinds of locations".[6] It wants to build a permanent library on the Moon and on Mars.[6][5] Arch envisions its small light-weight disks might be an alternative means of moving large amounts of data between Earth and Mars as opposed to radio signals.[6] Longer term they envision connecting the Arch Libraries through a decentralised read-write data sharing network that spans the Solar System.[9]

Data in the libraries will include Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, human genomes and other large open-data sets.[6] They will also allow donations of money to instruct that certain data be included, and will do so without censorship of what can be included.[6] The foundation cites the likelihood that a being developed enough to find and read the information would already possess significant technology as the reason for not prioritizing scientific data sets.[6]

In February 2018, the Arch Mission successfully placed an archive called the Orbital Library, which contains a copy of Wikipedia, into low-earth orbit.[15] The Arch Mission has also built a payload called the Lunar Library, which contains scientific, cultural and historical information in almost 30 languages and several encyclopedias including Wikipedia. The Lunar Library was set to arrive on the Moon on the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet, but it crashed landed on the Moon in May 2019.[16][17] Despite this, the 30-million page Lunar Library possibly survived due to the strength of its construction.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Our Mission". Arch Mission. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  2. ^ May, Patrick (February 7, 2018). "Elon Musk Sent Up Something Else Unusual in That Rocket Besides a Tesla". Mercury News. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Clemens, Danny (February 10, 2018). "The SpaceX launch included a small library that could orbit the Sun for millions of years". ABC 30 Action News. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Berman, Robby (February 13, 2018). "Hidden on the Falcon Heavy were the first books for a space library". Big Think. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Morris, David Z. (February 10, 2018). "Elon Musk Sent This Classic Sci-Fi Novel Into Space on the Falcon Heavy". Fortune. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Rafi Letzter (February 9, 2018). "The Most Interesting Thing Shot into Space This Week Wasn't a Tesla". Live Science. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Arch Library Created Using 5D Optical Storage Technology". Storage Newsletter. February 14, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "Optical 'Superman' memory flies with orbiting Tesla". Optics. February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Peter Dockrill (February 12, 2018). "SpaceX Hid a Second, Secret Payload Aboard Falcon Heavy, And It Sounds Amazing". Science Alert. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Chris Taylor (February 9, 2018). "Forget the Tesla, Elon Musk launched the first books in an ever-lasting space library". Mashable. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Olson, Eric (February 14, 2018). "Backing Up Humanity: First Arch Launched on Falcon Heavy". Engineering360. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  12. ^ Gohd, Chelsea (February 12, 2018). "Everything You Need to Know about SpaceX's Secret Falcon Heavy Payload". Futurism. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  13. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z. (February 7, 2018). "'A Car in Deep Space': Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Leaves Earth With 'Easter Eggs'". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  14. ^ Malik, Tariq (February 7, 2018). "Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster is Headed to the Asteroid Belt". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Arch Mission Foundation and SpaceChain Create Orbital Library". Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  16. ^ "First private spacecraft gearing up for Moon landing". Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  17. ^ "Beresheet crashed on the moon, but its 'Lunar Library' likely survived". Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "There may be a copy of Wikipedia somewhere on the moon. Here's how to help find it". Retrieved May 23, 2019.

External links[edit]