Dania and the Windy City Nights series are going to the moon
The Windy City Nights series is going to the moon
I am author #117 on an exciting project called Writers on the Moon.
Writers on the Moon is a lunar time capsule project. We're sending a rag-tag fleet of stories to the Moon aboard a digital data card. We hope this snapshot of indie fiction from around the world in 2021 will reveal the humanity of today to the readers of tomorrow.
Astrobotic and DHL have partnered to deliver "MoonBoxes" aboard Astrobotic's lunar landers. Our payload will ride on the first Astrobotic lander to reach the Moon, the Peregrine Lander. It will remain there permanently, a time capsule for the future. The project is being organized by Susan Kaye Quinn , Speculative Fiction Author. Tentative departure is Fall 2021.
The Mission Details
Peregrine is Astrobotic's lunar lander. Astrobotic was selected by NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to deliver up to 14 NASA payloads to the Moon on its Peregrine lunar lander in 2021. The MoonBox serial number is 4095257809. With this $79.5 million CLPS award, Astrobotic has now signed 16 customers for lunar delivery on its first mission in addition to the NASA payloads on the Vulcan VC2 rocket. This will be the first American moon landing since Apollo 17 in 1972.
On this mission NASA is sending up 14 scientific payloads of various types, including Doppler LIDAR sensing systems, a linear energy transfer spectrometer, a near-infrared volatile spectrometer, a mass spectrometer, a neutron measurement system, and a fluxgate magnetometer. The lander and intrinsic shielding for the electronic subsystems of these payloads should help extend our own survivability.
Writers on the Moon Landing Spot
Assuming all goes well, the project data chip will reside well north of the furthest Apollo site, Apollo 17, and just about the same same longitude, of 27 degrees east. See the slideshow picture showing the relationship of all the landing sites. For those who like data, here it is for all of the landing sites, expressed in latitude-degrees and longitude degrees.
Apollo 11--- I N, 23E - Mare Tranquillitatos
Apollo 12-- 3S, 23W - Oceanus Procellarum
Apollo 14-- 4S, 17W - Fra Mauro
Apollo 15-- 26N, 4E - Hadley Apennines
Apollo 16-- 9S, 16E - Descartes
Apollo 17-- 20N, 31E - Taurus Littrow
Astrobotic Peregrine Lander - Writers on the Moon - 45N, 27E - Lacus Mortis
As you can see, the majority of the landing sites lie close to the equator, with the outliers being Apollo 15 and 17, and Lacus Mortis. The moon's diameter is 2159 miles, so you can calculate distance, if you wish.
How will our stories and files remain safe on our lunar payload?
Answer from Susan Kaye Quinn: This is an excellent question! I had planned on blogging about this at some point, and here we are. We'll be using SanDisk's Extreme microSD card, the most durable of the commercially available ones that I could find.
There are, of course, serious issues with ambient radiation on the moon (or anywhere in space, in particular going through the Van Allen belt on the way there). People who rely on microSD cards for memory in space (for example small satellites) often have software management systems to handle this, with redundant storage and data checks to keep things clean (or repair damage). Some use radiation hardened memory, but that's expensive and not an option for us (and it's really just a fancy way to build in redundancies). Many use COTS (commercial off the shelf) cards and either use the software management systems or have short lifetimes and just deal with the damage. Many use COTS and never experience problems, so we're looking at random radiation damage that's *possibly* causing damage but not guaranteed, ie it's at a low enough level that commercial satellites are often using COTS with no problems.
We're different in that we're going to be on the Moon for a LONG time (indefinite) and still want the card to be accessible.
I considered using TWO cards, a physical redundancy that would cut our risk in half. I'm afraid it won't fit in the container with the other items I want to include. Still waiting to see the stackup to see if I can make that work. I may send everything to Astrobotic and say "if you can make the two cards fit, go for it!" It will be close.
My current plan is to include one (or two) SDcards, a physical paper mini-book with a listing of the website and the authors' names, and a thin piece of sheet metal with the website. The WEBSITE on earth is the actual backup. It will have pages that describe what people put on the payload, plus links to the authors' main book on the manifest. If our intrepid moon archeologists discover our payload and the SDcard is damaged (there is a possibility that SOME of the data will remain even if SOME is damaged), then they will see the website address and at least have access there to the stories, and the stories behind the stories, that were originally placed in the payload. I will be putting website maintenance in my will, so this will hopefully outlive me.
There's one more thing we have going for us, and this is the most helpful of all: our payload will be buried inside a lander with other payloads. Lunar radiation is not so severe that it can penetrate more than a few thin metallic sheets, and we'll have a lot of armor all around us. That's the thing most likely to protect our stories.
"Stowaway" info coming soon...