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Storage on the Moon: Lunar Lunacy?

Startup TransOrbital is promising the ultimate disaster recovery service - on the moon

Ever wonder how you would access your data if a colossal disaster wiped out the Earth, sending even heavily guarded disaster recovery sites into oblivion? Even if you haven't, space startup TransOrbital Inc. has -- and the company says it will soon launch the mother of all disaster recovery services on the moon.

Yes, thats right. The moon. Palo Alto, Calif.-based TransOrbital says it has already secured all of the primary licenses needed to start the world’s first commercial transport service into outer space, and that it expects its TrailBlazer lunar orbiter to make the first voyage early next year. On its second mission to the moon nine months later, the company says it will send up self-healing servers and storage to enable disaster recovery and archival services.

"The moon is a very safe place," says Dennis Laurie, the company's president and CEO. "We’ll offer the ability to recover from massive disasters that might occur here on Earth, [and] we’ll provide excellent archiving capabilities for a very long time."

While Laurie insists that TransOrbital has received positive feedback from storage vendors it has approached about the idea, the industry observers Byte and Switch caught up with today were more than a little skeptical. "Right now, as soon as you mention putting data on the moon, when people quit laughing, they think you're crazy," says Evaluator Group analyst Randy Kerns. "It would seem the costs [of storage and retrieval] would be exorbitant."

Adds Data Mobility Group analyst John Webster, "I’m an avid science fiction fan. I’m not sure how practical this is, but I think it’s a great PR idea."

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