Saturday April 20, 2024

Nasa directed to give moon its own standard time

The Coordinated Lunar Time will help improve navigation and conduct future space missions

By Web Desk
April 03, 2024

In a bid to set worldly norms beyond the boundaries of Earth, the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has directed Nasa to create a unified standard time for moon and other celestial bodies, The Guardian reported.

It will be known as Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC).

As per Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, time is dependent on gravity. Where gravity is strong, time passes slowly. This is also known as time dilation.

Gravity is the strongest near the centre of Earth, and it is weaker near moon, thus time moves faster there — 58.7 microseconds every day compared to Earth.

According to Kevin Coggins, Nasa's top communications and navigation official: "An atomic clock on the moon will tick at a different rate than a clock on Earth."

As more and more space missions are being conducted, the White House has instructed Nasa to work with other departments to deliver a time-standard strategy by the end of 2026.

This will not only improve navigation but also help successfully conduct future missions to mars and other planets.

Steve Welby, Deputy Director for National Security said: "The new standard will focus on four features: traceability to UTC, accuracy sufficient to support precision navigation and science, resilience to loss of contact with Earth, and scalability to environments beyond cislunar space."