Would you like your DNA to be archived on the moon?

The recent news about an expedition, ‘Lunar Mission One’, being carried out by a British space consultant, David Iron inviting people to place a sample of their DNA in an archive, to be buried on the moon has caught Metrolife’s imagination.

Reportedly, the Lunar Mission One would give people a chance to place a sample of their DNA, in the form of a strand of hair, in an archive to be buried on the moon, alongside a digital history of as much of their lives as they want to record. After about six months, capsules containing the DNA and digital data will be injected into the borehole in the moon, which will then be sealed.

Intrigued by the grandiosity of this as yet nascent plan, Metrolife asked Delhi youth whether archiving their DNA to perpetuate their legacy in the cosmic world, would be something they’d like to do or not? Here’s what they had to say...

Rohan Kathpalia, an aspiring lawyer from Faculty of Law says, “Though it seems silly, but I will submit my DNA, only if it is free and doesn't affect my health, as it is
just an experiment.”

Deepak Singh, an engineer says, “Yes I’d like that as I am not losing anything by sending my DNA. I'll just have to get rid of a hair follicle, but the possibilities are immense. It’s like preserving a piece of you for maybe eternity. Your DNA might be the source of continuation of human beings if an ‘Interstellar’ type of wipeout happens.”

Tariq Aziz, a designer says, “Not interested at all. What purpose does it serve? Is it supposed to make us feel invincible knowing that our DNA is preserved on another celestial body forever? Or maybe give some boost to our ego? Or, in the worst case, make us feel closer to god? It’s very simple. We are all insignificant.

If in the future they devise a way to preserve my ‘consciousness’ then I would be interested for sure. I would rather pass it to my future generations, which would ensure its preservation, and in a far better container.”

Simrandeep Singh, a sociology student, Jawaharlal Nehru University says, “Its like colonisation of my DNA. How can another man decide my future? I would never know what it represents. It has nothing to do with preserving human species per se as much as it means that they are preserving their version of Humans. They can classify it politically or maybe also racially.

And I wouldn’t want to be subjected to an experiment which does so.”Abza Bhardwaj says, “It is too ambiguous for me as to why the preservation of me is so important. I should feel unique in my lifetime. And after my life gets over why would I want another me in some other planet?”

Ayesha Verma, an NGO worker says, “I would not want my DNA to be sent to the moon as there can be only one me and I wouldn't want my copy on moon or Mars or anywhere in fact.”

Akhilesh Pathak, student of Sociology adds, “It is a narcissistic idea and is borne from self-love and I don’t have so much love for myself. When the world ends, may be there would be another species which is not human and they may not even want humans to co-exist with them.

And they may not even know how to extract the DNA, unless a paper is left behind and those species are able to read the same language as ours. For all you know, when the world ends may be the moon will also perish.”

The youth of Delhi does not seem very intrigued or inspired about the Lunar Mission One, which according to them “is so far-fetched”. Probably the expedition has to find another explanation as to why preservation of human species is so important.

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