Closely-guarded secrets to David Copperfield’s magic tricks have been accidentally dumped on the surface of the moon after a failed mission by an Israeli firm.
They are among a record of mankind’s greatest achievements currently sitting somewhere on the lunar surface after a failed attempt to land a probe, experts say.
Israel was unsuccessful last week in its attempt to become the first country to land a private spacecraft on our natural satellite.
Space IL’s Beresheet spacecraft, however, was carrying a library containing all of Wikipedia as well as 30,000 books and guides to 5,000 languages.
Alongside the Bible and an Israeli time capsule, some of the quirkier items aboard were David Copperfield’s magic secrets and a recipe for queso – a cheese based Tex-Mex appetiser – provided by a cafe in Texas.
The craft itself was destroyed in the attempt, but the creators of the Lunar Library – which was designed to be indestructible – say it might have survived.
They are calling on the public to help them track down the possible impact site of the library after the aborted landing.
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A record of mankind’s greatest achievements is sitting on the surface of the moon after a failed attempt by Israel to land a probe, experts say. The Lunar Library (pictured) contains 25 nickel film disks, which resemble tiny DVDs around half the thickness of a human hair
Closely-guarded secrets to David Copperfield’s (pictured) magic tricks are among the items contained in the library (file photo)
WHAT IS BERESHEET?
Beresheet stood around five feet (1m) tall and 7.5 feet (2.3m) wide with its landing gear and legs deployed
The probe stayed in Earth’s orbit for a month before slowly widening its ellipse until its farthest point from the planet, at nearly 250,000 miles (400,000km) away.
Beresheet was then slowly introduced to the orbit of the moon.
It was intended to be first private craft to land on the lunar surface, where it was designed to operate for just two days.
On April 11, 2019, however, Space IL – the firm behind the project – announced that the craft began to break apart just nine miles (15km) from the surface.
The ‘Lunar Library’ was created by the Arch Mission Foundation, based in LA, for the purpose of preserving humanity’s ‘precious knowledge and biological heritage’ well into the future.
The library contains 25 nickel film disks, which resemble tiny DVDs around half the thickness of a human hair.
Each disk is made up of multiple layers of information, the first four of which are comprised of up to 60,000 photographs of pages of books, photos, illustrations and documents.
‘We have either installed the first library on the moon or we have installed the first archaeological ruins of early human attempts to build a library on the moon,’ Arch Mission co-founder Nova Spivack told Mashable.
‘When you look at the Moon from now on, realize there is a lost library there containing Wikipedia, 30,000 books, 5,000 languages, and the history of the world.’
Magician Copperfiled decided he wanted to include his magic secrets in the library when he heard about the project.
In a written statement at the time, he said: ‘ When I was introduced to the Arch Mission Foundation, I was immediately enamored with the mission to preserve our civilization, and the possibilities of what we might do together.
‘One of my heroes is George Méliès, one of the fathers of modern cinema and also a great magician.
His most famous movie was “A Trip to the Moon,” which in 1902 visualized people landing on the Moon.
‘It inspired a generation of scientists to actually achieve it, and 70 years later we actually landed on the Moon.
‘Now 50 years later, we’re landing magic on the Moon. We’re bringing it full circle and I find that kind of poetic.’
Arch Mission has created a Google document that details all of the technical specifications of the Lunar Library.
It also compiles all of the data of the crash, gathered by SpaceIL, the Israeli nonprofit behind Beresheet.
One aerospace engineer has already suggested that NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter may be able to spot the craft’s impact crater, although the library in contained is likely to be too small to spot.
Israel failed last week in its attempt to become the first country to land a private spacecraft on our natural satellite. The SpaceIL lunar module is pictured in a special ‘clean room’ during a press tour of their facility near Tel Aviv, Israel
The craft (artist’s impression) itself was destroyed in the attempt, but the creators of the Lunar Library – which was designed to be indestructible – say it might have survived
Beresheet, which translates to Genesis, or ‘In The Beginning,’ was carrying a set of tiny disks – weighing just 3.5 ounces (100g), roughly half the weight of a tennis ball – containing 30 million pages of documents,
The first layer is visible to the naked eye and can be viewed with a 100 times magnification microscope. It contains 1,500 pages of text, images, logos and other data.
It also includes the contents of the Rosetta wearable disc, a guide to more than 1,000 human languages
The next three layers can be viewed at 1000 times magnification. In these layers are 20,000 images of texts and photos, including the basic explanations of more than one million concepts.
Among the other information included on the disc are technical instructions detailing the scientific and engineering knowledge that’s required to access, decode and understand the digital information located further down in the Lunar Library.
There’s also an entire copy of the English language Wikipedia, Israeli history and data from the Long Now Foundation, a linguistic guide to 5,000 languages.
The Lunar Library amounts to about 200GB of data when its digital contents are decompressed.
This would take between roughly 12 and 20 hours to download via an average home high speed cable broadband connection.
SpaceIL released a final image (shown) from the lander shortly after its failure (pictured). Experts are calling on the public to help them track down the possible impact site of the library after the aborted landing
There have been numerous landings on the moon as a result of the 20th century space race between the US and the USSR – including the famed Apollo 11 mission which saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans on the moon
WHAT IS SPACEIL AND WHO IS THE BILLIONAIRE BEHIND IT?
SpaceIL is an Israeli nonprofit organization that aims to make history by landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon.
It is working alongside state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries to launch an unmanned module to the lunar surface in December.
The project’s largest donor South African-Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, who made most of his riches through his telecomms software firm Amdocs.
Israeli billionaire investor Morris Kahn (centre) poses with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Space Division general manager Opher Doron (1st-R) during a news conference to announce the launch of a spacecraft to the moon
Founded in 2011, SpaceIL originally vied for Google’s Lunar Xprize, which challenged private companies to try to land an unmanned craft on the moon.
But the $20 million (£15 million) competition was scrapped by the tech giant earlier this year when it became clear none of the five firms would meet a March deadline.
Despite financial pitfalls in recent years that nearly saw SpaceIL’s spacecraft grounded permanently, the team is confident that December’s launch will take place on time.