EXPLORATION PARK, Fla.—February 19, 2024—Today, Space Florida and Florida-based Lonestar Data Holdings, Inc. announced the successful launch, storage, and transmission of sample data to and from Intuitive Machine’s Nova-C lunar lander in flight to the Moon. This successful transmission of data is the key technical milestone of the viability of disaster recovery data storage, developed and tested in Florida leveraging the Moon.
The Independence Mission began at 1:05 a.m. on February 15, 2024 with the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral carrying Intuitive Machine’s Nova-C lunar lander. The data stored onboard the lander is a list of Florida state parks, the Florida Constitution, and the founding documents of Space Florida. The data transmitted to and from the lander in flight is a copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights. A successful test includes digital storage, refresh, and restore — all critical for the next steps in global disaster recovery from the Moon.
Working closely with Space Florida and the State of Florida’s Geographic Information Office, Lonestar’s Independence Mission is the first venture to explore digitally storing data on the Moon.
“As Chair of Space Florida’s Board of Directors, I am excited to see Florida lead the way on such a significant mission,” said Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “The success of this operation creates new opportunities for scientific research, cybersecurity, and data preservation. By leveraging the unique conditions of the Moon, we are expanding the horizons of the types of economic activity happening in space.”
President and CEO of Space Florida Rob Long added, “An integrated space-earth economy is no longer a vision for the future; it’s here and now. This mission is a clear example of the innovative efforts Space Florida supports to develop space as a resource, both for business and for national security. Our goal is to expand economic activity beyond Earth, with Florida as the strategic hub for interplanetary aerospace commerce.”
Establishing data centers on the Moon has the potential to transcend the limitations of terrestrial storage methods, mitigating the risks of data loss from earthly damage such as natural disasters or human-made catastrophes.
“As we advance our exploration of space, we recognize the Moon’s potential as the ultimate secure data vault. We’re just close enough to the Moon that we can stay in contact 24/7, but we’re far enough away to ensure the highest level of encryption and cybersecurity,” said Chris Stott, CEO of Lonestar.
With the first phase of the Independence Mission considered a success, the team is now focused on the secondary goals of repeating the test from the surface of the Moon itself in the days to come.
Alayna Curry, APR