Is the Moon a Good Place to store your Data?
July 23, 2003 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Is the Moon a Good Place to store your Data? A company called TransOrbital of La Jolla, Calif., is seriously considering the idea of putting storage facilities on Earth's only natural satellite.
posted by randomnfactor (11 comments total)
there is also always the threat of a natural disaster here on earth, such as a small asteroid hitting the planet

What if a large asteroid hits the moon facility and then parts of said asteroid come crashing down on earth? Huh? What then, Mr. Smarty-pants?
posted by Nauip at 4:34 PM on July 23, 2003

Um, isn't the danger of anything hitting the moon greater because of a little thing I like to call not having a friggin atmosphere??

TransOrbital says companies want to back up critical data somewhere other than on earth,

So, in case the Earth is, for instance, blown into tiny little bits, they don't lose any data and can just keep on with business as usual.
posted by signal at 4:52 PM on July 23, 2003

If a distaster occurs that is so large that it requires restoring data from the moon, I'm wagering that none of us are going to be too concerned about our backups.
posted by 4easypayments at 4:56 PM on July 23, 2003

See here for more information.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:58 PM on July 23, 2003

You can also apparently send objects for $2500/gram.

BUT there are no monthly fees so over time you'll save money compared to terrestrial mini-storage.
posted by Hildago at 5:18 PM on July 23, 2003

I'm not an expert by any means, but I was under the impression that there are lots of rays (cosmic, stevie, etc.) and such whizzing through space that we're protected from by our atmosphere that would adversely effect magnetic recording media. Wouldn't that be a problem for stuff on the moon?

Also - from monju_bosatsu's link - I'm not sure I'd want to trust my data to a company that's appartently so cheap that they use what looks like a 12 year-old's 3D Studio Max rendering for the main graphic on their website.
posted by GriffX at 6:01 PM on July 23, 2003

It goes without saying that you'd have to bury it. Not only does a lack of atmosphere increase its exposure to data-damaging cosmic rays (as well as increase the risk of micrometeorite impacts), but the temperature cycling on the surface of the moon is extreme; well beyond the rated capacity of any storage medium I can think of offhand. You'd have to bury it at a depth at which temperature is stable over the course of a lunar day (i.e. a month): at least several meters I would think.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:28 PM on July 23, 2003

You'd get a horrendous lag, though: Ping times would be at least 2.6 seconds.

So quake servers on the moon is out of the question.
posted by spazzm at 7:55 PM on July 23, 2003

Come on folks. You all know "The Moon" is really going to be "Bobby's Attic".
posted by Jimbob at 8:08 PM on July 23, 2003

I'm not going to read that link, because I just know it's going to spoil my mental image of this service in use.

I can just imagine a scene in an office where an announcement is made over the radio that nuclear war has broken out and 3/4 of the US has been destroyed.

David Brent-esque manager - "There you go, and you all laughed when I had the Accounts Payable data uploaded to the moon. Well who's laughing now? Not the guys who'll have to re-enter their financial records by hand, I'll tell you that!"
posted by backOfYourMind at 5:36 AM on July 24, 2003

What if a large asteroid hits the moon facility and then parts of said asteroid come crashing down on earth? Huh? What then, Mr. Smarty-pants?

Even worse - what if a nuclear accident at a lunar-based waste disposal site propels our moon out of Earth orbit and into deep space. Sure, the residents of Moonbase Alpha will have access to your personnel files, but that won't do you much good if you're stuck back on Earth.
posted by trigfunctions at 4:10 PM on July 24, 2003

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