The moon has become a target for terrestrial space conquests. NASA and the European Space Agency are on their way to locating astronauts there. Chinese businessmen and the private sector also have plans for the moon. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), we all need a time zone on the surface of the moon.
How do we determine the time on the moon today?
Apart from the Apollo missions, man has never been on the Moon. However, the landers and sensors, and above all the navigation systems that control them, need time to come together. On Earth, ships and planes deal with time zone differences using onboard time. In the case of space travel, the distances and speeds they must travel seriously undermine the usefulness of this solution.
Currently, space missions, including lunar excursions, are prescribed and managed according to the time zone of the country to which the spacecraft belongs. However, this rule is no longer relevant. It succeeded on Artemis 1, but at that point there was no question of a moon landing. In the future, a regular research station will be built on the silver globe, the work of which will be much more difficult than the International Space Station.
What will the lunar time zone change?
International space missions and those by nations with territories spanning multiple time zones typically use the time corresponding to the launch location. In the case of the International Space Station, this solution was not feasible. Components for building the station left Earth from various launch sites. After all, it operates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and is the result of the consensus required for communication between American, Canadian, European, Japanese, and Russian ground crews.
According to ESA officials, the exploration of silver requires the lunar time zone to be defined and accepted worldwide. It is to facilitate the work of all those interested in being on the moon and to lay the foundations for its further expansion.
Why is it difficult to know the time on the moon?
The idea of a European Space Agency should now be treated as a proposal to be considered by space organizations around the world. An unequivocal situation at a fast pace should not be expected either. Creating zones or time zones for the Moon using the copy-and-paste method in relation to those used on Earth can be very impractical. There are at least several reasons:
- The Earth clock on the Moon runs faster (gains up to 56 microseconds after 24 hours of Earth’s day)
- The moon has a definite tilt relative to the sun (using the concept of the solar day may prove insufficient)
- The moon revolves around the sun around the earth, but in an orbit that is not completely synchronous with the earth
So the problem will not only be in setting the timezone. The moon may also need its own measure of time. Especially since scientists aren’t sure what was meant by these findings in the first place. In addition to a ground orientation in time, the needs of astronauts on the lunar surface and in the Gateway port may become important in a few years.
Source: Associated Press
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