The freezing void of space stretches out above us when we glance at the night sky. Humanity has been attempting to plumb its depths and learn its secrets for millennia.
Of course, with modern technology we are able to do more than ever before and the Deep Space Network, which is a global organisation that records data from various space missions, has been collecting vast amounts of information in order to help expand our understanding of the great unknown.
As you might imagine, the problem faced by this network is that the amount of data it has to deal with is becoming increasingly vast and scientists at NASA have been warning about an eventual overload for over half a decade.
All of the congestion is caused by the information drawn from 13 antennas arrayed at locations across the globe which are used to receive information beamed back to Earth by various space probes that are millions of miles away.
While it is relatively simple to store large amounts of data, even though it is expensive, the problems come when you need to analyse it all and make sure that it is kept in a very safe, secure location.
The solution to all of these problems has been proposed by Ouliang Chang, who is a postgraduate student at the University of Southern California in the US. He believes that a supercomputer should be built on the Moon, allowing for the storage and big data analysis of all the information which is currently handled terrestrially by the Deep Space Network.
The costs and logistics of building a data centre on the Moon are quite staggering, as you might imagine. Getting 450 grams of equipment out of the Earth’s atmosphere and taking it to our closest orbiting body costs £31,000, so Chang believes that the total cost of the project would be anywhere from £6 billion to £12 billion or more. You would also need to factor in the additional expense of setting up a separate base on the Moon, since the data centre could not exist in isolation.
Will there be a data centre on the moon one day?
Big data is a subject that’s continuing to drive more and more conversation and buzz (and even debate!) in the industry today. The amount of information about it on the web and the speed at which it is being produced is dizzying. We probably need some big data tools just to get to grips with it.
Some computing concepts leave the darkened corners of the datacentre to take a hold on the broader public imagination, as the continuous conversations about cloud over the last few years have shown. Big data is one of these topics. In many ways this is good, and means the amount of innovation, interest and investment in these areas quickly jumps up a notch. But it also gives rise to a lot of debate, a lot of responsive news stories and – let’s face it – a lot of nonsense, which means anyone wanting to try and keep on top of all the latest conversations, important news stories and industry trends is going to have a serious task on their hands.
That’s where we come in. The Real Big Data is the place to go for big data news online. We’ve teamed up with EMC to bring you the latest stats, the most interesting uses in business and society, the best stories from other sites and, of course, to throw our hats into the ring when it comes to the big debates. We want to make big data digestible, without talking down to you. Expect to see everything from podcasts and opinion pieces, to videos and data visualisations, on subjects as diverse as media, finance and healthcare.
The Real Big Data is also about how data relates to society. Big data is what we do. It’s what we use, what we buy, what we share. Big data is information about people, collected and organised by computers, interpreted and acted upon by people. We don’t just want to make it understandable – we want to understand what it can do for us.
Big data has the potential to change our lives in ways we’ve never even thought of. If you’re going to do big data, you want to do it right. And hopefully we can help.