NASA will create a single time standard for the moon

NASA will create a single time standard for the moon

NASA will create a single time standard for the moon


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NASA, at the behest of the White House, will establish a single time standard for the Moon and other celestial bodies. It will take place against the background of a month-long race between countries and private companies.

According to the documents, the plan to install Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC) will be ready by the end of 2026, it is reported Reuters and The Guardian.

The perception of time on Earth and in space differs due to the different gravitational force.

“The same clock that we have on Earth will move at a different speed on the Moon,” – said Kevin Coggins, head of NASA’s space communications and navigation division.

LTC will be the time reference for lunar spacecraft and satellites that require precision to complete their missions.

In a memo from the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the White House, Arathi Prabhakar, which was seen by Reuters, it is stated that for a person on the moon, the Earth clock will lose an average of 58.7 microseconds in one Earth day.

As part of the “Artemis” program, NASA plans to send astronaut missions to the Moon and create a scientific lunar base in the coming years. However, without a single lunar time standard, it will be difficult to guarantee the security of data transmission between spacecraft and the synchronization of communications between Earth, lunar satellites, bases and astronauts.

Time differences can also lead to errors in mapping and positioning on the Moon or in its orbit.

“Imagine if the world didn’t synchronize its clocks – how disruptive it could be and how complicated everyday things would become.” – remarked the representative of the White House.

On Earth, most clocks and time zones are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which relies on a global network of atomic clocks located at various locations around the world. They measure the changes in the state of the atoms and generate an average value, which in the end is the exact time.

The White House does not exclude that it may be necessary to place atomic clocks on the surface of the moon.

Currently, several countries around the world are actively developing their missions to explore the Moon.

For September 2026, NASA has planned its first landing of astronauts on the moon since the end of the Apollo program in the 1970s.

At the same time, China plans to send its astronauts to the moon by 2030, and India by 2040.

We will remind, in January 2024, Japan became the fifth country that sent his spacecraft to the moon. “Moon Sniper” already twice experienced a long and cold moonlit night.

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