What just happened? Lonestar Data Holdings is a Florida-based startup that wants to preserve Earth’s atmosphere by bringing data centers and cutting-edge computing to the moon. The company just announced its latest funding round, and now it’s ready to send its first experimental data storage unit into space.
Lonestar has completed its round of seed funding by raising $5 million, and the company is now ready to launch a series of missions to bring functioning data centers to the furthest place of all: the surface of the moon. Lonestar will work with Huston-based Intuitive Machines, which has already been awarded a contract by NASA to deliver technology demonstrations to the moon as part of the Artemis program.
In 2021, Lonestar has its first test run with its data center in space — or better yet, on the International Space Station. The new plan is to send a small data box to the Moon with Intuitive Machines’ second lunar mission (IM-2), while the IM-1 mission is expected to launch in June.
Lonestar founder Chris Stott said in April 2022 that the miniature data center aboard the IM-2 lander will have a capacity of 16 TB in a 1 kg payload. Recovery, with the help of commercial and private projects that solidify the existence of the moon.
Stott has previously said that data is “the greatest currency the human race has ever created,” as we depend on it for almost everything we do here on Earth. But the data has become “too important” to be stored only in the “ever more fragile biosphere.” Earth’s largest satellite will be the perfect place to securely “store” our data-driven future.
The first Lonestar data center sent to the Moon will rely on the IM-2 lander for its power and communications needs. Any subsequent data center that will be sent will have its own power and communications facilities, and could be deployed to the lunar surface by the end of 2026. The IM-2 mission is expected to last between 11 and 14 days.
Expanding the global economy to the moon is “the next white space in the new space economy,” said Brad Harrison, founder and managing partner at Scout Ventures, the company that led the Lonestar funding round. Data security and storage is a necessary part of next-generation lunar exploration, and it’s clear Lonestar wants to play a pivotal role on this pioneering otherworldly front.