The Arch Mission Foundation, a nonprofit, will be printing out all 25 million pages of the English version of Wikipedia and send the data to the moon. It will have the information printed on small metal discs that can withstand the rigors of space.
Its team is sure that people in the future will be able to find the information, but there is no certainty if those who find it will be able to understand the English language.
25 Million Pages Of English Wikipedia
While Arch won't be cluttering the moon with a ton of debris made up of millions of pages of Wikipedia pages, it is hoping to get the information discs onto the surface of the moon. The goal of the foundation is to archive the human civilization around the solar system. It hopes for future humans to one day find the information and have a glimpse of what was happening at the time.
This isn't the first time that Arch is sending information into outer space. It previously sent a quartz disc along the same rocket that took the Tesla Roadster into space. The quartz disc had a copy of Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy on it. It was stored on the disc using a 5D optical technique. The process of writing the data, however, takes too long and costs too much.
Instead Arch will now be printing microscopic images onto ultra-thin nickel discs. The first disc that contained the Isaac Asimov Foundation trilogy was the size of a dime. The one that will contain the English archive of Wikipedia will be the size of a DVD. Whoever stumbles upon the disc in the future would be able to read the data from the disc by using a microscope.
Using laser to print the information onto the disc will be less time-consuming. It will take a month to print the entire archive but that's a lot faster than before. The laser technique prints about 300,000 dots per inch.
Arch will also be optimizing the articles to cut out white space and metadata from the articles. They will also be working on an algorithm that arranges the articles in such a way that they will be hyperlinked across the disk.
The Wikipedia disc will also contain a copy of the Rosetta project, a digital library of all of the human languages. Arch has said that it may have enough room for major Wikipedia entries in other languages.
Arch is teaming up with Astrobotic, a private space robotics company that is planning to send its first commercial lunar lander to the moon by 2020. Astrobotic has a spot on the Atlas V rocket, and the discs will be on board during this mission.