NASA has partnered with Lonestar, a computing company in Florida, and the Isle of Man to use blockchain technology for an upcoming moon mission.
The main goal of the mission is to see if storing backups on the Moon is possible. In February 2024, the agency will send a payload with “data cubes” to the Moon, used to collect and send data from space. Blockchain technology ensures verification and security for faster, more accurate documentation so the contents cannot be tampered with when they return to Earth.
This technology is set to be used in NASA’s second crewed mission, Artemis Three, to prove that humans have reached the Moon. The partnership aims to develop lunar storage systems that last, using solar power without needing extra infrastructure.
“The one-kilogram payload will have 16 terabytes (TB) of capacity, it has passed a Preliminary Design Review and is heading to Critical Design Review,” said Chris Stott, co-founder at Lonestar.
In a recent interview, Kurt Roosen, the Head of Innovation at Digital Isle of Man had a conversation about NASA’s difficulties when it comes to dealing with conspiracy theories regarding its six moon landings that took place between 1969 and 1972.
Roosen said that while blockchain can’t fix or address these old theories from the past, it can certainly play a crucial role in the future of moon missions. Blockchain functions as a highly dependable and unalterable system for recording information and plays a crucial role in ensuring that all records are transparent and secure.
This project represents a monumental leap in the remarkable potential of blockchain technology for space exploration. It ensures that upcoming lunar expeditions are meticulously recorded, fostering credibility and reliability in the documentation of these historic missions and paving the way for future lunar exploration.
Today, the #Artemis II crew and @NASAGroundSys successfully conducted a launch day demonstration. The demo included test spacesuits, a ride to Launch Complex 39B, and going up the mobile launcher to the crew access arm white room.https://t.co/vHl28fVSYR pic.twitter.com/7ed1hGvvy4
— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) September 20, 2023
Storage solutions for data
As part of the Artemis missions, Lonestar and the Isle of Man are creating durable lunar storage systems powered by solar energy. These innovative systems run on solar energy and are engineered to efficiently produce, store and seamlessly manage their power, permitting NASA to have virtually endless batteries out in space, ensuring sustainable and uninterrupted operations.
They also developed digital stamps called “digital franking,” which will be stored in data cubes on the Moon. Blockchain technology will ensure that the data are accurate and complete. This technology allows astronauts to communicate with data cubes, creating a monitoring system for lunar exploration and proving human presence on the Moon.
Before sending astronauts, NASA’s Artemis program will move to its second stage with the launch of Artemis Two in November 2024. This mission won’t land on the Moon but will have four astronauts travel from Earth, orbit the Moon and return to Earth.
NASA previously held a meeting at the famous Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 8, where it introduced and talked about the Artemis Two crew, which is set to be sent for the first human mission of its kind in over half a century.
Artemis Two will take three NASA astronauts and one from the Canadian Space Agency on a journey around the Moon following a free-return trajectory. The eight-day mission serves as the final test flight before the Artemis Three mission, which aims to land humans on the Moon in 2025.