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BIG creates a 3D-printed data storage device to be sent to the Moon

Danish architecture studio BIG and technology company Lonestar Data Holdings Inc have created a data storage device for the moon, where it will rest indefinitely after arrival.

The device, called Freedom Payload, is about the size of a hardcover book and weighs 1 kilogram. It will store data from “governments, businesses and leading non-governmental organizations” in space.

It will be based overseas on a lunar lander that will fly to the moon later this year and will function similarly to a hard drive or larger data centers scattered around the world. Lonestar Data Holdings Inc (Lonestar) claimed it was the first facility of its kind in space.

“In an unprecedented partnership between space and architectural innovation, Lonestar Data Holdings Inc. and world-renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group proudly present the newly designed Freedom Payload, the first data center sent into space,” Lonestar said.

Data center mounted on the lunar landerData center mounted on the lunar lander
BIG created a data center for the Moon. Render via BIG

A BIG machine has 3D printed the shapes of NASA astronauts Charles Duke and Nicole Stott.

“Illustrating BIG’s ethos of shaping the future, it was designed to feature the profiles of two NASA astronauts whose faces will cast changing shadows on the Moon throughout a lunar day (14 Earth days) for thousands of years,” BIG said.

Duke’s profile was used to represent the success of NASA’s Apollo program, while Stott’s was used to symbolize the ongoing Artemis program, which NASA says is conducting further exploration of the Moon with the goal of “establishing the first long-term presence.”

The render shows the Freedom Payload attached to the side of the lunar lander, where it will be “entirely solar-powered and naturally cooled” while also being able to store eight terabytes of data.

“Using advanced 3D printing technology, BIG seamlessly combined form and function to create a structure capable of withstanding the harsh conditions found on the Moon, all while promoting sustainable practices in extraterrestrial environments,” Lonestar said.

The project is part of a larger initiative by Lonestar and others, including scientists from Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin, to move humanity’s data to the Moon to protect information in the event of a disaster on Earth.

The move will also remove carbon-intensive data centers from the Earth.

“As humanity transitions to a digital society with endless data needs, the expansion of data centers to the Moon provides an environmentally friendly way to simultaneously meet Earth’s needs while protecting the planet from carbon-intensive data centers,” Lonestar said.

Data storage for transfer to the Moon

According to NASA, the Freedom Payload mission will launch to the Moon later this year during NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission, which allows commercial companies to place technology on the lunar surface for experimentation and testing.

“Freedom is not just a data center, it is a symbol for all of humanity of what the future holds,” said Lonestar CEO Chris Stott.

“Through our partnership with BIG, we have been able to realize our commitment to advancing human knowledge and protecting the data that powers our civilization.”

Lonestar Data Holdings Inc is based in Florida and was founded by Chris Stott to create infrastructure and store lunar data.

Previously, Space

Images courtesy of Lonestar Data Holdings Inc unless otherwise noted.