Currently we find several missions to the Moon already planned for the coming years, with some already talking about building bases and settlements or conducting in-depth studies. Knowing this, the European Space Agency (ESA) wants to give the Moon its own time zone.
And it is that, today, to measure the hours in the spacethe time on Earth is taken as a reference, which depends on the country, although if we are already talking about creating a new habitat on the Moon, why not give it its own time zone?
This week, the agency has already confirmed that space organizations around the world are working on it considering the best way to set time on the Moon.
It may sound crazy, but an agreed standard time zone for the Moon It would not only facilitate collaboration between space agencies around the world, but could ensure more precise orientation and navigation on the lunar surface. For now, a lunar mission runs on the time of the country that operates the spacecraft.
It’s 10 in the morning in Spain, 11 on the Moon
“This will be quite a challenge on a planetary surface where, in the equatorial region, each day lasts 29.5 days, including the icy fifteen-day lunar nights.”says Bernhard Hufenbach, who works in ESA’s Directorate for Human and Robotic Exploration. “But having established a working time system for the Moon, we can continue to do the same for other planetary destinations”Add.
The idea was raised during a meeting in the Netherlands late last year, and the participants agreed on the urgent need to establish a common lunar reference time. “A joint international effort is now being launched to achieve this”said the engineer of the navigation system of the THATPietro Giordano.
But beyond the fact that the astronauts of the POT and those who stay on the ground can tell the time on the Moon, the need for standard time in space is also essential for orientation and navigation.
Just as GPS systems on Earth require precise coordination and timing, the same will be true of any base that is built and operated on the Moon.
These discussions are already underway and form part of the “LunaNet” initiative NASA, a project to develop technologies and standards for communications and navigation on the Moon. These efforts are a vital part of the agency’s Artemis program, which aims to build lunar bases and launch missions to the Moon before venturing to Mars.