Key idea: The collection of DNA comes from LifeShip, a space and genomics company that aims to send this DNA not just to the space station but, one day soon, to the moon.
Original author and publication date: Chelsea Gohd – April 28, 2022
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Our DNA will be stored on the Moon. Are we the first ones with that idea? How protected will be our DNA on the Moon?
From the article:
Strapped into a SpaceX Dragon capsule, a crew of four astronauts blasted off from Earth this morning (April 27) on a mission to the International Space Station. Also on board? My DNA.
This morning’s launch saw SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, sending four astronauts to the orbiting lab for a six-month stay. In addition to the astronauts on board, a peculiar payload was stashed on the Dragon: a biobank chock-full of DNA from 500 different species and over 2,000 different humans … including me!
The collection of DNA comes from LifeShip, a space and genomics company that aims to send this DNA not just to the space station but, one day soon, to the moon.
In 2020, I completed a two-week simulated, or analog, Mars mission at the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) facility in Hawai’i during which my five crewmates and I lived and worked in a “Martian” habitat as if we were truly on the Red Planet. During that mission, we all sent a sample of our DNA in to LifeShip.
LifeShip opened its microscopic doors to allow people to send in DNA to be included in future missions to space. The ultimate planned destination for these samples is the moon, with a lunar launch scheduled for 2023, according to the company’s website.
What did that look like for us? Well, simply (and grossly) put, we spit into tiny plastic tubes. (The system now involves just a simple cheek swab.) Eventually, our little tubes made it back to LifeShip, where our DNA was extracted from the sample and preserved in synthetic amber, “a polymer inspired by nature,” the website reads.
The preserved DNA then “goes in a capsule that contains a biobank with DNA from diverse plant and animal species, as well as an archive of human knowledge and culture compiled by our partners at Arch Mission Foundation,” the website adds.