SOS -Send Our Seeds
In nature, the perpetuation and survival of all forms of life are maintained through the process of reproduction. The propagation of a species is the best way for it to survive and thrive in the natural selection process. Viewed from a macro-perspective which includes of all life on Earth, the survival of “Life“ itself is also dependent on it reproducing itself in another environment.
The environment for survival of life on Earth is both fragile and endangered due to natural causes and climate cycles as well as the impact of human civilization within the biosphere. Unexpected cosmic events may also one day endanger or even terminate life's survival chances in the future. The only way for life on Earth to insure its ultimate survival is by it becoming established beyond the home planet.
The advent of spaceflight marks the first time in the history of planet Earth that life has developed the means necessary to perpetuate its own survival in the cosmos. That means is the human species and the technological capabilities it has developed. Indeed this may be humanity‘s ultimate purpose as well as its biggest responsibility. The evolutionary idea that space exploration activities would in effect plant both human and other terrestrial life forms beyond Earth has been an acknowledged aspect of humanity‘s astronautical endeavors since its beginnings.
At this moment, humanity has a window of opportunity for confronting and solving the many challenges it currently faces. If humanity does not choose to become a spacefaring species in the necessary time frame to do so, then alternative measures should be immediately taken to spread the SEEDS of life from Earth throughout the cosmos.
SOS is an acronym for the Send Our Seeds and the Space Option Star projects. It is also commonly used as the international Morse code distress signal (· · · – – – · · ·). Thus SOS is both a warning signal as well as an ethical and moral message to our species. As such, the goal of the Send Our Seeds intervention is to stimulate attention to the fact that all life sharing our planet urgently needs our help to insure its ultimate survival by being planted elsewhere in the cosmos.
The SEEDS Project
"SEEDS: Synergizing Earth's Evolutionary Development Spacewards"
The SEEDS concept was an idea that began to be developed in 1990 and the project was initiated in 1995. The purpose of the SEEDS project is to initiate a realistic program to develop and send artistic payloads containing organic material into space called: SEEDS. This effort is conceived of as an art project in order to have some latitude in its process of development and implementation and that the first realizations in space would probably be more symbolic than realistic. However, these efforts would serve to promote publicity for the concept as well as to build experience and to accumulate data. Rather than developing specific missions or projects, the approach has been to look for spaceflight opportunities are inexpensive, educational and have communication potential.
Proposals to include SEED payloads on space missions were examined. Initially these were to be micro-payloads that could be integrated into structural elements of the spacecraft with little or no weight, cost or technical penalties with the purpose would be to gain exposure and experience.
SEEDS Installation 46th Int. Astronautical Congress, Oslo, 1995
In 1995, the first public presentation of the project was an art installation made in October 1995 at the 46th International Astronautical Congress in Oslo, Norway during the Art to the Stars exhibition. In September 1997, artworks with the title "SEEDS for Mars" were included in the exhibition "Life on Mars" held at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Holland and in October that year a SEEDS installation and paper presentation were made at the 48th International Astronautical Congress held in Turin, Italy.
Also in 1997, private proposals to incorporate SEEDS payloads into missions being planned for orbit and to the Moon were made to the scientists working on these missions (Fig. 4.). (EuroMoon Proposal - 1997)
Proposed EuroMoon SEED, 1997
Based on the technical experience in regards to using expandable technologies gained from the development of the O.U.R.S. and the OUR-SPS projects, the "Millennium SEED" concept was developed in the form a large inflatable icosahedron placed in Earth orbit that would be visible to all humanity as a blinking star. The Millennium SEED would be designed to return to Earth a thousand years later carrying with it a selection of "seeds" from our time - in case it becomes necessary to "re-seed" Earth in order to maintain life in this part of the cosmos.
Proposed Millennium SEED
In 2003, the European Space Agency contracted the OURS Foundation to re-examine the technology for large expandable structures for cultural purposes in light of any new technological developments. In the course of this study, the icosahedron form was looked at in more technical detail and utilizing the technology now called CRES (Chemically Rigidized Expandable Structures) payload mass and visibility parameters were established.
Creating a SEEDS archive on the Moon or via the Millennium SEED would be a clear and permanent statement that humanity's future on Earth is irrevocably linked to its future in space. Sending SEEDS on spacecraft that travel beyond our solar system may be one way to spread terrestrial life beyond Earth. Presenting space development in an ecological and ethical context, the SEEDS project could help focus humanity on the evolutionary and survival benefits related to space and be a strategic way to catalyze the needed discussion concerning the need to occupy Greater Earth and what this means to the future of humanity.
A dedicated SEEDS website is under development.