Science 2 min read

Israeli Spacecraft Plans to Create a Lunar Library

In a major step forward, Israel's SpaceIL has successfully launched a lunar library within their Beresheet Spacecraft. After its successful launch, the lander is now traveling towards our Moon.

Artists illustration of Beresheet lander on the surface of the moon | NASA

Artists illustration of Beresheet lander on the surface of the moon | NASA

Last week, Israel-based non-profit SpaceIL launched Beresheet, the country’s very first lunar lander. Although there are not a lot of details on the lunar lander, the agency did announce their addition of a lunar library to the spacecraft’s cargo.

The name of the lander, Beresheet, comes from the Book of Genesis, meaning “in the beginning”. Deployed from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last week, Beresheet is currently orbiting Earth in elliptical loops, hoping to meet the Moon’s orbit and land upon it.

According to the Arch Mission Foundation, Beresheet contains a disk of 30 million pages of documents about humanity’s achievements. The archive includes text, images, and symbols as part of a larger initiative to build a galactic archive of human history.

The Lunar Library

According to the AMF, the Lunar Library is housed within a 100-gram device that looks similar to a 120mm DVD. However, it is reportedly made of 25 nickel discs each measuring 40 microns thick.

In a whitepaper released by AMF, the organization explained:

“The first four layers contain more than 60,000 analog images of pages of books, photographs, illustrations, and documents – etched as 150 to 200 dpi, at increasing levels of magnification, by optical nanolithography.”

The first analog layer of the disc contains the “Front Cover” that is visible to the human eye. It has 1500 pages of images, text, holographic diffractive logos, and other readable content when using an optical microscope.

The next three layers each contain 20,000 pages of images and text at 1000x magnification. They require more powerful microscopes as each letter on this layer is about the size of a bacterium.

There is also a “Primer” that teaches the translation of words across major languages and millions of concepts in photos. There are also documents in the Lunar Library explaining the specifications as well as engineering knowledge needed to decode the digital information within the Library’s layers.

Aside from the Lunar Library, AMF also sent a Solar Library aboard Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster which was launched last year. This previous mission focused on taking the Asimov Foundation Trilogy around the sun for the next 30 million years.

Read More: Chinese Lunar Rover Takes Extraordinary Photos Of Dark Side Of The Moon

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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