Florida startup raises $5 million toward building lunar data centers
Cloud computing startup Lonestar Data Holdings announced the results of its latest $5 million funding round, which will help it develop its technology for storing data on the lunar surface.
The Florida-based company aims to build lunar data centers on the Moon to help combat the environmental impact of large server centers on Earth. It could also help NASA in its bid to build a permanent colony on the Moon with its upcoming crewed Artemis missions.
New lunar data centers will store humanity's 'greatest currency.'
We are incredibly reliant on data in our day-to-day lives, as evidenced by the WannCry ransomware incident in 2017 and the importance of SpaceX's Starlink internet service in Ukraine in recent months.
In a press release last month, Lonestar founder Chris Stott said, "data is the greatest currency created by the human race. We are dependent upon it for nearly everything we do, and it is too important to us as a species to store in Earth's ever more fragile biosphere. Earth's largest satellite, our Moon, represents the ideal place to safely store our future."
Back in December 2021, Lonestar ran a successful test of its data center in microgravity conditions aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Now, after its latest funding round, the firm is ready to launch a small data center to the Moon with the help of Intuitive Machine's upcoming IM-2 lunar mission.
Data storage will form a part of the 'new generation of lunar exploration'
That small data center will weigh roughly 2 pounds (1 kilogram) and has a capacity of 16 terabytes, Stott explained to SpaceNews in a recent interview. This data center will draw power from its lunar lander, though the company eventually aims to deploy standalone centers by 2026.
"We believe that expanding the world's economy to encompass the Moon, which happens to be the Earth's most stable satellite, is the next whitespace in the New Space Economy," Brad Harrison, founder and managing partner of Scout Ventures, which led the recent funding round, explained in a Monday statement. "Data security and storage will be a necessary part of leading the new generation of lunar exploration."
The company's lunar data centers will first be developed for remote data storage and disaster recovery, meaning companies will be able to back up their data on the Moon.
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