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'Cosmic Hello' Being Sent to The Moon

Sapphire discs etched with “the essence of humanity” will be sent to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis programme to act as a repository of human knowledge.

A disc titled Space, one of the 24 items destined for the Moon
A disc titled Space, one of the 24 items destined for the Moon | Credit: Sanctuary On The Moon

The project, titled Sanctuary On The Moon, includes examples of mathematics, culture, palaeontology, art and science as well as the human genomes of a man and a woman. There will be 24 discs in total and they are currently being engraved at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.

“We hope Sanctuary will constitute a ‘cosmic hello’ to our descendants or perhaps even visitors from elsewhere," says Benoit Faiveley, a French engineer who has worked with a team of international scientists, researchers, designers and artists to choose what images to place on each disc.

The discs mimic the golden phonographs sent with the Voyager spacecraft, the first ships to leave the Solar System, which contained greetings in 55 different languages, messages from world leaders and even a human heartbeat.

The new discs include schematics for NASA’s Saturn V rocket and lunar landing modules which took astronauts to the Moon in the Apollo mission, as well as paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh, and The Declaration of Human Rights.

There are also celestial and terrestrial maps, as well as data on anatomy, astrophysics and particle physics, phases of the Moon and developments such as the combustion engine and flying machines.


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