The outer space, in orbit around the Sun, seems a perfectly appropriate place for The Foundation, the trilogy of Isaac AsimovIsaac AsimovIsaac Asimov. And there is, in these moments, a copy of the three original books of the mythical saga. It is expected that Asimov’s work will remain there for around 14,000 million years. It is the time that the device that contains them will last, at least this is what their creators attribute to it.

The Foundation came out of the terrestrial limits in the Tesla supercar that Space X sent into space with the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. The science fiction trilogy sneaked into Elon Musk’s plans. A Twitter user, Nova Spivak, posted a tweet asking to get the attention of the Space X CEO. He asked him to take Asimov’s books to space and, by the way, take a look at his project: Arch Mission.

Inspired by the Galactic Encyclopedia itself, of which Asimov spoke in The Foundation and which contained all the knowledge of civilization, Arch Mission has set itself the task of storing human knowledge in devices that it wants to distribute throughout the Solar System.

The goal of the creators of Arch Mission, a project that has been established as a non-profit foundation, is that this information will last millions of years for the future generations. But where does this ambition come from, so practiced, to preserve knowledge? The professor of the Complutense University of Madrid, Angeles J. Perona, specialized in a theory of knowledge, puts emphasis on a simple idea. 

Human knowledge, for humans, is a very valuable achievement because it allows us to face the problems of life. It allows us to stay alive. 

Perona also highlights an aspect beyond the pragmatic. Knowledge is not simply an instrument. It’s a part of us. And here comes, according to the teacher, the symbolic component of human beings, which is directly related to curiosity. Perona speaks of curiosity not only as an engine to create knowledge but as a stimulus to preserve what we already have.

A Treasure Scattered Throughout the Solar System

The device that was launched in the Falcon Heavy, like the others developed by Arch Mission, employs 5D optical storage techniques. In a quartz silica structure, this small disk-shaped container can store up to 360 TB. The technology was developed by the physicist Peter Kazansky, from the University of Southampton, who acts as an advisor on this curious project, born three years ago.