US Tasks NASA with Establishing Lunar Standard Time

  • 03 Apr 2024

The US aims to set international norms in space with NASA's plan to create a unified time standard for the moon and celestial bodies.

Key Points

  • Unified Time Standard: White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) instructs NASA to develop "Coordinated Lunar Time" (LTC) in collaboration with other US agencies.
  • Global Space Race: Amidst a new space race involving numerous countries and private companies, the US seeks to assert its leadership by setting international standards.
  • European Space Agency's Initiative: ESA announced plans for a Moon time zone in 2023, emphasizing the need for a common lunar reference time.
  • ISS Timekeeping: International Space Station (ISS) operates on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) due to partnerships with various countries, adjusting for the station's orbit and gravitational differences.
  • Technical Challenges: Lunar environment presents unique challenges for timekeeping, including gravitational effects and the length of a lunar day, prompting the development of "Coordinated Lunar Time" or "Lunar Standard Time."