World Stamps

Digital Isle of Man stamps head to the moon and back

Jul 25, 2023, 12 PM
The Isle of Man Post Office is sending digital stamps to the moon as part of an experiment to explore the possibility of space as a secure storage location. The digital stamps are based on the designs of these four stamps issued Jan. 6.

By Molly Goad

The Isle of Man Post Office is taking part in a mission exploring how data can be stored securely on the moon and retrieved in the event of a catastrophe on Earth, according to July 12 press releases from the Isle of Man Post Office and the Department for Enterprise.

As data centers become increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters, data breach violations, and more, this program seeks to discover how space may be used as a location to store data out of harm’s way.

The initiative involves storing digital postage stamps on the moon. After spending some time on the moon, the stamps will be transmitted back to Earth.

The Isle of Man is teaming up with Florida-based Lonestar Data Holdings, a company working toward creating lunar data centers where digital information can be archived. Lonestar will deliver the digital stamps into space and track their return to Earth. The trial is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.

The Isle of Man’s Department for Enterprise press release said, “Together with the Isle of Man Post Office, Digital Isle of Man — an Executive Agency within the Department for Enterprise — 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.

“Each digital stamp will be verified and tracked during its return trip to the moon, with this trail becoming part of the digital footprint.”

The first digital stamps ever used by the Isle of Man Post Office show four different iterations of the country’s flag representing the island’s secondary schools. The same designs appear on the Isle of Man’s Triskelion stamps issued Jan. 6.

The Isle of Man flag is a triskelion made up of three armored legs with golden spurs on a red background. The Jan. 6 stamps were also the island’s first to feature King Charles III’s monogram.

The secondary school students will learn about the technology as they observe the launch and transfer of data.

“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,” Stu Peters, chairman of Isle of Man Post Office, said.

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