DNA from 500 different species and 2000 humans launches into space – TweakTown


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has launched on April 27 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, taking four astronauts and new cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Falcon 9 recently lifted off, transporting NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. The astronauts will remain aboard the floating laboratory for six months, where they will conduct experiments and progress through their science mission. Along with the astronauts was cargo that included a biobank that contained DNA samples from 500 different species and 2,000 different humans.

The collection of DNA samples comes from space and genomics company LifeShip, which also plans on eventually sending DNA to the surface of the moon. The capsule that contains the samples is designed to shield the DNA from radiation to avoid any degradation. In an email statement, LifeShip wrote, “It’s humanity’s first off-world genetic seed bank!“, and described the DNA container as a “genetic time capsule“. Below is why LifeShip believes its necessary to send DNA off-planet.

According to its website, LifeShip wants to send DNA off Earth because “the genetic time capsule is designed for the far future, none of us will ever actually know for sure. Perhaps it will be found by a future civilization and used to recreate our planet as it is today. Our descendants could carry your code to the stars to seed a brand-new world. While this is all theoretical, we believe it is worth saving our genetic blueprints of life on Earth for generations in the future.

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