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Engineers team up with NASA to send a new time capsule to the moon, filled with 24 sapphire discs holding the essence of humanity in over 170 billion pixels. However, the question remains: who will be the audience for this historic message?

Engineer Benoit Faiveley is leading an international team composed of scientists, researchers, designers, and artists in collaboration with NASA to send a time capsule to the moon. This project, known as “Sanctuary on the Moon”, is a part of NASA’s Artemis CLPS program and is supported by UNESCO and French President Emmanuel Macron. The centerpiece of this endeavor is the creation of 24 sapphire discs engraved with the essence of humanity, containing over 170 billion pixels of information about our species.

The discs, being engraved at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, aim to portray a diverse portrait of humanity through various aspects such as mathematics, culture, art, and science. This initiative marks the first time that the collective human genome will be transported to another world, with the goal of delivering a comprehensible message to future generations and potential extraterrestrial life. The moon, considered an ideal location due to its durability against natural disasters, will house this time capsule designed to withstand harsh lunar conditions for many years.

NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration, Joel Kearns, expressed enthusiasm for the project, believing it will inspire present and future generations. The multidisciplinary Sanctuary team includes renowned scientists, engineers, and artists, while receiving support from organizations like CNES, CEA, INRIA, BCGSC, and UNESCO. This venture, showcasing the best of humanity’s achievements, will serve as an enduring symbol of our knowledge, culture, and genetic makeup for generations to come.

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