the

Arch

Mission

Foundation

Our mission is to preserve and disseminate humanity's most important information across time and space, for the benefit of future generations.

 
 

As Seen On

“Wherever humans go, so will go the Arch. Wherever the Arch will go, so will go humanity.
— Nova Spivack
 
 
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ARCH /AR·K/

A specialized long-term archive device that is designed to hold and transmit data over very long periods of time, and in extreme environments such as in space or on the surfaces of other planetary bodies.

LAUNCH MANIFEST


 

1

The Solar Library™ (2018)

The Solar Library has been started.  The first installment was launched by SpaceX on the Falcon Heavy Test launch and is now entering an orbit around the Sun for millions of years.  The first books in the Solar Library are Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy.  Read more about this historic milestone here.

 

2

The LUNAR LIBRARY™ (2020)

We are developing a special Arch™ Library that will be delivered to the surface of the Moon by 2020. This Arch will begin the Lunar Library. The Lunar Library will contain a curated collection of the most important documents, photos, videos and data of our species and will last for as long as the Moon.

 

3

The Mars Library™ (2030)

We are in the early stages of designing an Arch Library to land on Mars. The Mars Arch Library will be designed to supply a future human settlement on Mars with a vast collection of important knowledge from Earth. This will form a backup of Earth on Mars, in the event that the connection between Mars and Earth is ever lost in the future. It will also provide colonists on Mars with a massive data set with which to seed a local Internet and Web on Mars.

 

Our Purpose

The Arch Mission Foundation™ (pronounced ar·k) exists to help humanity preserve and spread its knowledge across vast distances of time and space.

We believe that the purpose of life is to evolve and spread intelligence across the universe.

Ancient civilizations accomplished this by preserving their data in stone, a very long lasting medium -- for example, The Pyramids of Giza. But ironically, despite our higher level of technological attainment, our civilization’s data is far less durable.

Our knowledge exists primarily on paper documents, and plastic media such as magnetic tape, optical DVDs, and flash drives. Paper media, under very carefully controlled conditions, can be kept for hundreds of years, but our plastic digital storage media has a shelf-life of 20 to 50 years. Most of these media are also very vulnerable to heat, cold, moisture, bacteria and fungus, insects, and electromagnetic radiation.

Over geological timescales there is a high probability of naturally occurring extinction-level events on every planet, including ours. And in fact, we are overdue for another one.

But in addition to threats from nature and the solar system, today we also face threats caused by human civilization too.

What would happen to our data if there was a planetary catastrophe like a nuclear war, a meteor impact, or a direct hit from a solar flare or an EMP? Much of our data and knowledge would be irretrievably lost.

If an extinction level event occurred on Earth, there would be almost no recoverable trace of our civilization's digital knowledge, after just a few decades.

Only a thousand years after such an event, amidst the decaying ruins of our concrete and steel structures, virtually no recoverable knowledge or data would remain.

As well as backing up our civilization against the threat of human-caused or naturally-occuring planetary disasters, there is another reason to build Arch Libraries. Arch Libraries are important in facilitating the transition to a spacefaring civilization.

To truly graduate to a spacefaring civilization, we need to develop storage media and technologies to transmit vast collections of our knowledge, in very small and lightweight objects, that are durable under the harsh environments of space and the surfaces of other planets.

Arch Libraries provide a way to send big data sets into space, alongside humans and human colonies, wherever they may go.

And finally, as envisioned by Isaac Asimov, in his Foundation Series, the existence of the Arch may lead to an eventual Encyclopedia Galactica, and perhaps even to a future science of psychohistory.

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Get Involved

The Arch Mission is for all of us. It is the ultimate record of our civilization, and will include the full range of the human experience and data from all peoples and cultures. To do this we need your help! 

 
 

JOIN US

We invite you to participate in our community. The Arch Mission Foundation is a large undertaking and encompasses all fields and disciplines. Please join our crew and contribute to the Arch Mission Foundation!

Make a Donation

Building and distributing Arch Libraries across our solar system requires funding. Please help us with a charitable, tax-deductible donation, to support our non-profit work for future generations.