16 July 2023

The Isle of Man is posting stamps to the Moon as part of a ground-breaking mission to explore the possibility of space as an ultra-secure, extra-planetary storage location.

Digital Isle of Man is partnering with Lonestar, a space storage company, for an unprecedented mission to explore space as a secure storage and disaster recovery location. Lonestar provides premium secure storage and edge processing services to customers from the world's ultimate off-site backup location. Its mission is to apply abundance thinking and exponential technologies to the exploration of the Moon and the endless possibilities of lunar storage.

The mission, in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services programme, will explore how data can be stored on the Moon and retrieved in the event of a catastrophe on Earth.

As data centres become increasingly vulnerable to natural and other disasters, Lonestar and the Isle of Man are partnering to conduct pioneering research into the use of space as a secure ‘vacuum-gapped’ location to securely store and transfer data.

Together with the Isle of Man Post Office, Digital Isle of Man has used the expertise in the Island’s blockchain industry to digitise exclusive stamps that will be posted to the Moon and back working via Lonestar’s lunar data centre. Digital Isle of Man sees the placing of digital assets on the moon as a way to further its understanding of how modern data and blockchain capabilities operate and how we handle data security. The mission forms part of Digital Isle of Man’s work on data and data services, which is currently in development.

Each digital stamp will be verified and tracked during its return trip to the Moon, with this trail becoming part of the digital footprint. They will then be transmitted back to Earth as part of the larger Artemis lunar exploration programme mission.

The stamps are the first digital stamps ever used by the Isle of Man Post Office, and will feature different versions of the famous Triskelion flag, representing each of the secondary schools on the Island. Pupils of each school will learn about the technology involved, and will remotely observe the launch and transfer of data.

The stamps are also the first in the Isle of Man to bear the cypher of the newly-crowned King Charles III.

Commenting on the launch plans, Minister for Enterprise Tim Johnston MHK said:

‘This is an incredible opportunity for the Isle of Man to build on its long history of innovation in the space sector and launch a truly unique space mission. The possibilities this technology can bring are hugely exciting, and it is yet another example of how the Isle of Man is leading the way in pioneering new developments for businesses.’

Space start-up company Lonestar Data Holdings Inc., which is headquartered in Florida with operations in the Isle of Man, will be responsible for delivering the digital stamps into space and tracking their return to Earth.

Chairman of Isle of Man Post Office Stu Peters MHK said:

‘We are delighted to be involved in this very exciting mission which will see Isle of Man stamps being ‘posted’ to the Moon for the very first time. Isle of Man Post Office prides itself as a trusted technology and logistics partner and this digital dispatch to the Moon and back will be a very special delivery indeed.’

CEO of Lonestar Chris Stott said:

‘Having grown up in the Isle of Man, I feel enormously privileged to be able to run such a novel mission from my home. We could not do this without the Island and its unique commitment to disaster recovery, space, and the global digital economy.’