The collection of images, text and symbols is the first part of a project to build a “Lunar Library” and part of a bigger push to create a space-based archive of Earth.
According to the Arch Mission Foundation (AMF), the library contains 30 million pages of human history that covers a wide range of subjects, languages and time periods, all stored on a DVD-sized archive made of 25 nickel discs that are each only 40 microns thick. An 84-page document that AMF provided to Gizmodo showed subject categories in the time capsule including aerospace, mathematics, women's studies, humor and criminology.
When Gizmodo asked why the full list of contents was not being released, the AMF told the news outlet:
"We’re only announcing some of the content in the library right now because of the various partnerships we have. Much more content will be revealed. ... Rather than rely on problematic curations of material, we want to include the full breadth and diversity of recorded human knowledge and culture and a record of the life and civilization of planet Earth."
There will be more discs sent to the Moon in the coming years, including in partnership with Astrobotic next year.
The Beresheet lander was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and could reach the Moon by April 11. The lander and its time capsule will remain on the Moon indefinitely.
The Moon looms large for a number of countries’ space programs. China, for example, recently became the first country to successfully land a probe on the far side of the Moon when the Chang’e 4 lander reached the lunar surface on Jan. 2.
Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this report.