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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Digitized DNA (Stephen Colbert's!) Off to Space

Next month, video game designer Richard Garriott (son of astronaut Owen Garriott) will travel to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and he'll be taking with him a time capsule of sorts—a backup of humanity meant to protect us from extinction if disaster strikes and everyone on Earth is wiped out. Stored at the ISS, this "Immortality Drive" will "save a history of humanity's greatest achievements, digitized human DNA, and personal messages from people all over the world," according to the Operation Immortality Web site. Stephen Colbert recently agreed to have his digitized DNA sent into space, as did Digg founder Kevin Rose, singer-songwriter Joe Ely, Olympic gymnast Scott Johnson, and American Gladiator Matt Morgan, among a handful of others. "In the unlikely event that Earth and humanity are destroyed, mankind can be resurrected with Stephen Colbert's DNA," Garriott said in a statement. "Is there a better person for us to turn to for this high-level responsibility?" —Heather Wax