Science
Time capsule gallery
Time_Capsules_4.jpg

WebUrbanist has an interesting gallery of time capsules old and new. The prize for most ambitious “expiration date” goes to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway–WU claims barley seed samples interred there may remain viable for as long as 20,000 years. For time capsule enthusiasts, the germane Wikimedia Commons Category also makes for interesting browsing. [Thanks, Billy Baque!]

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6 thoughts on “Time capsule gallery

  1. Using a stainless steel vessel and some archival materials, we’re putting in a time capsule into the corner of the front stairs to our house. They’ll be cast concrete, so many years from now they will be discovered by robot overlords or more likely people doing a renovation.

    Sealing it with silicone, and using silica gel/oxygen removers to maximize life. Now I gotta figure out what exactly we’re putting in it…

    To the future and beyond! (Buzz lightyear doll?)

    -RG

  2. Something that occurred to me when I was watching The Wrath of Khan, when the klingons destroy a pioneer probe;

    the best most perfect place for a REAL time capsule, would be a spacecraft at one of the legrange points. Or on the moon, or some asteroid. Put fuel in it, or some form of long-term propulsion device, so that on it’s assigned date, it can power back to earth orbit and broadcast a calling card.

    Maybe even attempt its own reentry.
    Obviously this would be tough to do, due to component failure, the possibility of micro-meteors or larger hitting it, and of course some way of waking it up; maybe a radioactive isotope could be used. If put in a suitably stable place, with a method of returning to earth, and properly shielded from the dangers of space, whatever you put it in literally could last thousands of years, and best of all, it would be doubtful it’d get accidentally uncovered or disturbed, as so many time capsules are, by building work, renovations etc.

    When you look at it that way, the remains of the Apollo missions are kinda like time-capsules. Who’s to say in 30-40 years, when everyone associated with the missions has gone to dust, that we might have lost the plans of the apollo landers etc.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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