Inside secret project ‘backing up Earth’ in case of WW3 with Bond-style Alpine vault holding ALL human knowledge

Inside secret project ‘backing up Earth’ in case of WW3 with Bond-style Alpine vault holding ALL human knowledge

A SECRET project to back-up planet Earth in the event of apocalypse is underway in a James Bond-style villain bunker in the Swiss Alps.

As a hotbed of conflict explodes around the globe with fears of all-out World War Three mounting, a US firm has installed a British-designed “superman” memory disk containing a compendium of human history.

Doug SeeburgThe Sun’s Ryan Parry was invited to see the first ‘Earth disk’ being installed at the Hagerbach Test Gallery[/caption]

Doug SeeburgInside the mountain vault near Flums, Switzerland[/caption]

Doug SeeburgThe US firm is installing British designed ‘superman’ memory disks[/caption]

Located deep inside a mountain vault near Flums, Switzerland, the futuristic quartz disk – designed by boffins at Southampton University’s Optoelectronics Lab – holds 60 million microscopic pages of human knowledge.

And it’s designed to survive a nuclear holocaust.

The nano, laser-etched archive holds 30,000 books, the entire contents of Wikipedia and the Rosetta language archive.

It also holds hundreds of thousands of pages of photos and illustrations covering every key aspect of world culture, art, literature, science, sport and history.

The incredible project called Global Knowledge Vault is run by Arch Mission Foundation which plans to install similar repositories on every continent.

The foundation famously had one of its memory disks in the glove box of Elon Musk‘s space bound Tesla Roadster and is running two missions to land “Lunar Libraries” on the surface of the Moon next month.

It also has plans to send the 7.5cm disks to Mars, Venus and near-Earth asteroids.

Arch Mission Chairman Novak Spivack invited The Sun to see the first “Earth disk” being installed at the Hagerbach Test Gallery – a massive research and development facility hidden beneath a mountain.

He said: “If something really bad happens on Earth, this will be our planetary insurance policy – our backup. 

“It seems increasingly likely that something catastrophic could happen in our lifetime.

“We are overdue a geological cataclysm, not to mention cosmic energy bursts, and all the risks that humans themselves are causing – nuclear war, bio apocalypse, etc. 

“So this project is literally about saving the world – all our knowledge, history, art, science, and culture – so it can never be lost.

“It’s like the Seed Vault, but for information.”

As the Middle East’s warzone spills out and the Gaza and Ukraine wars rage on, The Sun was given a tour of the “world-saving” Haberbach facility.

The venue is an impressive underground bunker which would make a perfect setting as a Bond villain’s lair.

Founded in 1970, the massive bunker has 5.5km of underground tunnels, caverns and laboratories and even its own miniature railway.

The unique facility is primarily used by firms to test structural engineering, mining and tunnelling techniques.

This project is literally about saving the world – all our knowledge, history, art, science, and culture – so it can never be lost

Novak SpivackArch Mission Chairman

It is also used for research into smart use of underground space – such as aquaponics, underground farming, subspace energy and underground data centres. 

It also hosts foreign fire services who use the tunnels for underground fire-fighting training.

The modern bunker even has its own restaurant and huge seminar space and despite being hundreds of metres beneath solid rock has strong WiFi and phone connection.

When our team visited, the venue was hosting the World Systemic Forum, run by the System Change Foundation, an organisation which explores ways of how to transform the traditional modern world into the modern digital era. 

It was through this forum that Haberbach teamed up with Arch Mission.

Facility CEO and General Manager Dr Michael Kompatscher told The Sun: “We have our own mission called Mission Earth First and Nova’s project is a perfect fit with our activities.

“So we came together and we have created the first knowledge vault in Europe.”

Dr Kompatscher said the bunker is the perfect place for the discs.

“We have constant conditions, constant temperatures and we sit beneath 300 metres of rock, we are the best practice example of what the underground can serve,” he said.

“The facility is not just a tunnel from A to B, we have a whole underground network, it’s almost an underground village. 

“We are an innovation centre and our key research topics are of course construction, but it’s also about smart cities, energy and space.”

Hagerbach’s huge tunnel system grows by around 100 metres per year and even hosts a shooting range on site.

Doug SeeburgThe Sun’s Ryan Parry with Dr Michael Kompatscher, CEO of Hagerbach Tunnel complex, inside the impressive underground bunker[/caption]

Doug SeeburgNova Spivack and Dr Michael Kompatscher, CEO of Hagerbach Test Gallery, with the time capsule[/caption]

The project is located deep inside a mountain vault in SwitzerlandDoug Seeburg

Doug SeeburgHagerbach’s huge tunnel system grows by around 100 metres per year[/caption]

Doug SeeburgNova Spivack, Chairman of the Arch Mission Foundation, with the crystal[/caption]

Doug SeeburgThe bunker is the perfect place for the discs with constant temperatures[/caption]

And on weekends it often hosts music festivals, wedding ceremonies and classical concerts in one of its huge chambers.

Dr Kompatscher guided our team to a small room dug out of the rock and protected by a 12-inch thick steel vault door.

It’s here that Mr Spivack officially handed over the memory crystal for safe keeping.

“The idea is that the disks will outlive our civilisation and stand as a new beginning for the next civilisation,” he said.

“If you’re going to build a backup strategy for the planet, it has to be durable for millions of years.

“And we want to install more of these Knowledge Vaults around the planet – so that in each continent there is at least one. 

“It’s a little known fact that civilisations have an average lifespan of only around 300 years.

“That makes us statistically overdue for a decline.”

The serial entrepreneur and technology venture capitalist says his aim is to install archives of human civilisation across the solar system.

Next month some of the disks will be flown to the Moon on board two private space missions.

In 2019, Arch Mission attempted to send its first Lunar Library to the Moon aboard the Israeli Beresheet Lander, but it crash landed on the lunar surface.

Mr Spivack joked that his organisation’s indestructible disks still made it to their destination intact.

He added: “If we are successful then we can guarantee – for the first time in history – that civilisation will never be lost again.”

The idea is that the disks will outlive our civilisation and stand as a new beginning for the next civilisation

Novak SpivackArch Mission Chairman

The amazing technology behind the crystals was invented by Peter Kazansky, a professor at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton.

He created the world’s first 5D optical data storage crystal which has been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest lasting, highest density, most durable storage device on the planet.

The technology – later nicknamed superman memory crystals – has been licensed by Microsoft which is aiming to use it to back up its own vast archives.

Professor Kazansky explained: “This technology was invented about 20 years ago accidentally, when we discovered that with light we can produce these nanostructures.

“Then later on we discovered you can use the properties of the structures for data storage.

“We also physically changed the material, creating nanostructures so strong that they can survive heat treatment at 1,000C.

“So this type of storage can last forever, it’s almost impossible to destroy.

“The storage capacity of the device is also huge. We estimate, in the best case, a CD sized disk could hold 360 terabytes of data.

“Three of these disks can hold the equivalent capacity of the human brain.”

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