The crater scape! Blockchain partnership to map Moon landing sites
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, July 1969

The crater scape! Blockchain partnership to map Moon landing sites

A blockchain partnership is to help document and preserve the evidence of man’s exploration of the Moon and outer space.

Blockchain financial services marketplace TODAQ Financial has announced a partnership with For All Moonkind, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving mankind’s space exploration heritage, such as the sites of the Apollo Moon landings.

The two organisations will work together to map the Moon, registering and documenting human cultural artefacts and landing sites to bring “accountability and immutability” to these records.

The aim of the project isn’t to prove conspiracy theorists wrong about faked moon missions – though that will be a useful byproduct – but to prevent the desecration of these sites as the privately funded space age begins in earnest.

Catch that Buzz

In 2019, it will be 60 years since the first man-made object to reach another celestial body, the Soviet Unions’ Luna 2 probe, crashed onto the Moon’s surface, and 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot there. Yet while Mankind has not returned to the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the new space race means that our nearest neighbour is “about to get very crowded”, explained For All Mankind.

Japan, China, Russia, and the US are all are considering crewed Moon missions within the next decade. India and China intend to have rovers back on the lunar surface as early as this year, and a number of private companies have plans for landings by 2020. According to space market data service New Space Global, there are now more than 1,000 companies in the commercial space sector, up from just 125 in 2011.

“Each of the Apollo lunar landing sites, and the robotic sites that preceded and followed the Apollo missions, are evidence of humanity’s first tentative steps off our planet Earth and to the stars,” said the partnership in an announcement this morning.

“They mark an achievement unparalleled in human history, and one that is common to all humankind. They hold valuable scientific and archaeological information. They also serve as poignant memorials to all those who work — and have worked in the past — to make the spacefaring human a reality.

“In short, they are unique and irreplaceable cultural and scientific resources. They must be protected from intentional or accidental disturbance or desecration.”

A giant leap for blockchain

The partners will work to create, develop, publicly disseminate and maintain a decentralised grid-referenced system of cultural heritage sites on the Moon that they believe should be designated for preservation and international protection.

These includes sites such as Apollo 11’s Tranquility Base, where Armstrong and Aldrin became the first human beings to set foot on the Moon on 20 July 1969, as well as locations around Mare Imbrium, where Luna 2 hit the surface, and the first remote-controlled rover, Lunokhod 1, later explored.

“Creating an accountable register of human cultural artefacts and sites on the Moon, is a first step towards documenting, protecting, and celebrating our history before it is erased,” said Michelle Hanlon, co-founder of For All Moonkind.

For its contribution, TODAQ will use the TODA layer-zero blockchain protocol to build The For All Moonkind Moon Register. “While the vast majority of economic and human activity is here on Earth, none of our modern world would function without the contribution of our collective space-based efforts and technology,” said Hassan Khan, CEO and co-founder of TODAQ.

“Building an immutable framework powered by the TODA Protocol that can help preserve our common heritage and lay a foundation for future societal interactions in space is vital to start now, and we’re proud to support this initiative.”

Internet of Business says

Space exploration and a range of technologies, such as blockchain, AI, and analytics are a natural fit for each other, as outer space presents the biggest data there is.

But while human beings’ exploration of space is inevitable and of incalculable value in technological and environmental terms – we don’t just explore space from near-Earth orbit, but also look back at our planet from space – the costs associated with physical exploration will remain a challenge for decades to come.

This is why many space exploration programmes are now Earth-based, using vast telescope arrays and supercomputers to crunch data about gravity and magnetism on the universal scale, map black holes, track the origins and evolution of the universe, and explore the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

For example, stage one of the UK-headquartered Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Project will generate five exabytes a day of raw data, and generate archives with growth rates of up to 500 petabytes a year. Stage two of the project may generate 62,000 petabytes of raw data that needs to be crunched and analysed, meaning that today’s science programmes need to plan ahead for computer processing power and speeds that don’t yet exist.

Chris Middleton
Chris Middleton is former editor of Internet of Business, and now a key contributor to the title. He specialises in robotics, AI, the IoT, blockchain, and technology strategy. He is also former editor of Computing, Computer Business Review, and Professional Outsourcing, among others, and is a contributing editor to Diginomica, Computing, and Hack & Craft News. Over the years, he has also written for Computer Weekly, The Guardian, The Times, PC World, I-CIO, V3, The Inquirer, and Blockchain News, among many others. He is an acknowledged robotics expert who has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITN, and Talk Radio, and is probably the only tech journalist in the UK to own a number of humanoid robots, which he hires out to events, exhibitions, universities, and schools. Chris has also chaired conferences on robotics, AI, IoT investment, digital marketing, blockchain, and space technologies, and has spoken at numerous other events.