NASA International Space Station Testing Innovative Data Storage System to Preserve Vital Human Records

On the ISS for 246 Days!

A Falcon 9 launch, stage separation, and booster landing on Saturday morning May 4, 2019 in one long exposure.

Photo credit - SpaceX

The WORF payload was delivered and docked to the ISS on SpaceX 17 on May 6, 2019

Can data survive in space over extremely long times and multiple human generations? The possibility of human colonies on other planets may ultimately depend on just such data stability. Now, a patented innovative long-term archival data storage system created by a Delaware-based firm will be tested on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2019 for up to a year.

The system developed by Creative Technology LLC (CTech) of Hockessin, DE, is called WORF, for Write Once, Read Forever. WORF applies a century-old tested archival media for photography in a completely new way for storing high-density computer data in perpetuity. Inherently secure, low-cost technology is used for WORF that cannot be hacked or altered. WORF media can be used to store critical DNA and healthcare records, financial information and contracts, family photos and records which need to preserved for multiple human generations

NASA’s ISS test will determine if WORF-stored data can survive a hostile space environment during long-term space missions, such as the mission to Mars and beyond. Today, conventional media, such as hard drives, magnetic tape, and solid state memory, are vulnerable to decay and bit rot due to gamma and cosmic rays and age deterioration.

WORF media is a green technology which can be stored for long periods in normal room environments without excessive energy for cooling or maintenance, opening up a new opportunity for storing secure data for extended periods of time without the need for energy.

CTech is a group of technologists with over 300 years collective experience in human perception, image capture & display, photosensitive media, data storage & compression, and video and telecomm applications and technology. CTech sponsors have included NSA, the Naval Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, NASA, & DARPA.

All media used today have to be continually replicated and authenticated in order to be readable even in less than one human lifetime, and that process alone incurs new errors each time the data is copied. WORF avoids that problem, saving enormous labor and energy costs over long periods.

Splash down January 7, 2020

Eric Rosenthal, 732-580-9555

Toward a "Digital Noah's Archive" (DNA)

Solomon, Richard J; Buchman, Melitte; Rosenthal, Eric; Smith, Jonathan M; Johnson, Clark

ISSN: 2161-8798; DOI: 10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2019.1.0.15

Archiving Conference , 2019, Vol.2019(1), p.66-71

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