With more launches to the moon expected on the horizon, the European Space Agency wants to give the moon its own date scale.
This week, the agency said space agencies around the world are considering how to calculate time on the moon. The idea was sparked during a meeting in the Netherlands late last year, and participants agreed on the urgent need to establish a “common reference for lunar time,” said Pietro Giordano, the agency’s navigation systems engineer.
He added that international joint efforts are currently being initiated to achieve this.
At present, the time of the flights to the country from which the shuttle is launched is fixed.
European space officials said an internationally agreed lunar time scale would be easier for everyone.
When designing and building the International Space Station, NASA faced a timing problem as it approached the 25th anniversary of the launch of its first components.
Although the space station does not have its own time zone, it operates according to a unified universal time that is precisely calculated based on atomic clocks. This helps split time delays between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and other partner programs in Russia, Japan, and Europe.
An international team of lunar timekeepers is debating whether to set and maintain time on the moon, the European Space Agency says.
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