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How to store humanity data for millions of years?

Image credit: Downloaded from https://unsplash.com/photos/jlV2k_Fx0fc and edited

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J
Juranium Nov 18, 2021
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Necessity

Is the problem still unsolved?

Conciseness

Is it concisely described?

Let's say we want to save data and do not believe solid-state drives can serve us long enough. We could try to design long-lasting hard drives, cloud storage, or fluorescent molecules that can store data. Some time ago, there was also a cool idea on storing the data inside the DNA of microbes that served as an inspiration for this session. But all of these are short-lasting solutions. What if we want to save data for millions, or even billions of years?

Future threats
To find the right long-term data storage, we first need to check all the possible scenarios of our universe. Some of the scenarios are:
  • climate change
  • geomagnetical change
  • the hit of an asteroid or a comet
  • the near-Earth supernova
  • solar evolution
Future consequences to Earth
  • mass extinctions
  • temperature drop or rise
  • increased UV radiation due to damaged ozone layer
  • glaciation
  • solidification
  • complete disappearance of Earth
I'll regularly update the lists considering the contributions and comments.

The solution for data storage should be resistant to some or even all the above-mentioned threats. It should also come with a "toolkit" for future life to be able to decode the data.
How would you tell the story of the humanity to some future-life? What data storage could work even after some/all of the possible scenarios happen? How would you make sure the future life can read the data?
1
Creative contributions

Save data on satellites revolving around the Sun

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nov 19, 2021
Firstly, this is something to think about Juran. We may need an answer in the near future.
What I think is, there needs to be a power source to store and maintain data of any kind, be it cloud storage, hard drives, or biomolecules. Currently, the ultimate power source is the Sun. Solar energy does not depend upon humans and neither on the disturbances happening on Earth. Also, the Sun is currently the longest-lasting source of energy. Therefore, whatever solution we come up with, it should be dependent on solar energy. Since the Sun is more permanent than anything, it could be used as a basis for the physical storage equipment as well. Nothing can be stored directly on or near the Sun. Therefore, using Sun's gravity is the next best thing. With the current technology, we could build satellites that use solar energy and revolve around the Sun. A safer trajectory could be identified for its revolution and it could be launched along with all the necessary information we currently have. Communication might be an issue at times when the satellite is far away from the Earth but since the satellite is self-sustaining, it would go on its trajectory and come near to the Earth once every few years.
The trajectory and speed of the satellite could be adjusted so that the Sun, Earth, and satellite lie on a single line at every time point in its revolution. This ensures that it will be closer to Earth at all times but not dependent on it.
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J
Juranium19 days ago
Cool idea! I love the independence of that "hard drive" and the ability to upload once every few years. That would stop many unnecessary data or actions on the "drive".
I agree that the Sun will last the longest, so solar energy seems to be an option that will last the longest.
To enhance the storage efficiency and reduce the error rates, I would probably like to implement a more rigid, straightforward way of storing binary data. Perhaps it could be a material whose state can only be changed once. That way, data storage would require energy only when the data is being written. Maintenance would not be necessary, which would save a lot of power.
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