Thursday, April 17, 2014

Human Preservation Company

A company that preserves human genetics in space

One of the more exotic and maybe even "snake-oil" kind of businesses that could be pursued in the space industry of, not only tomorrow, but today is that of selling tickets on "Preservation Spacecraft."

This is basically the idea of creating a time capsule or "stasis pod." Customers would pay to have hair, blood, or some other genetic material stored/preserved on a spacecraft. In this way, it could start out be marketed as either preserving the human race, should our planet be entirely wiped out, being the "ambassador" should an alien race ever find the craft, or just as a way to satisfy personal ego.

Now this is a bit of an outlandish idea. But not unheard of. Many people have a desire to be preserved in someway. What better place to preserve something than in the nothingness of space? Many people also believe that the entire human race should have a few ways to mark our existence to extraterrestrials should we ever destroy ourselves. These are both legitimate reasons for some people to pay to have their genetic material sent to space.

As far as the technical aspects are concerned. A beginning company could simply create small satellites, such as CubeSats, which are outfitted to protect genetic materials from the radiation of space. This a relatively simple thing to accomplish. The spacecraft itself would also probably need some type of transmitter that can last for longer periods of time. This would be the cater to those that want to leave something for E.T. which they can find and recognize as from a technological society.

Where would these spacecraft be sent? Well, just starting out they could be sent into high Earth orbit. This would keep them in space for around a hundred years. As technology grows, these craft could begin to be sent out of the solar system like space probes have just begun to accomplish (Voyager). This expansion would be marketed as the "seeding of the universe" by humans. The company would be able to profess how the genetic material may start the advent of life on other worlds and the people that purchase the ticket for their DNA would be the "parents" of that life. (think Prometheus)

Understandably this business can be twisted, very easily, into some kind of fraud. Having people buy space for blood samples on a CubeSat that is sent into space and then burns back to Earth and no one would ever know. Or the genetic material could be launched and not appropriately protected so that it is obliterated by the cold and radiation of space. But if approached correctly this "preservation craft" does have a legitimate mission to many people. (it all depends on who you are)

Far in the future, should a company like this exist, its purpose most likely would be some type of "whole body" preservation. It would be a model like the cryonics companies of today, preserve entire humans for revival at a later date, either by humans or E.T.

There is no telling how profitable a business like this would be. It is has never been tried. Though such things have be performed for free on some launches, for dignitaries. But whether it is a complete business or not, perhaps it is an idea that companies, or even researchers, can adopt to help pay the large cost of space launches today. A little blood or hair is not a heavy thing to add to a spacecraft, but it may be worth several thousand dollars the customer that wishes to purchase a place for their DNA in a launch. (this actually creates another opportunity to create the protective containers for the material by yet another company, but we'll leave that to the reader to consider.)

Human preservation is something many people think about today. While we can't explore space completely yet, it is possible to send ourselves out into it and create a "human backup." This ideal is something that many people can relate to and creates a unique opportunity that can be explored immediately. From someone as low as a college student to as high as an experience business magnate.

1 comment:

  1. The only way I know of protecting genetic material from radiation in space is to not be in space for very long or to use mass. Lots of mass.

    These Cubesats have a volume of one liter and weigh less than two kg total. There's no way to have much shielding on something that tiny.