It’s no secret that space travel is evolving, with dozens of Moon missions planned for the coming decade alone along with commercial endeavors well in the works.
With the new era of space travel emerging comes new issues to tackle and it seems that a pressing issue happens to be time.
Officials with the European Space Agency (ESA) are hoping to establish an official time zone for the moon – something that’s never been done before.
ESA navigation system engineer Pietro Giordano said in a statement: “We agreed on the importance and urgency of defining a common lunar reference time, which is internationally accepted and toward which all lunar systems and users may refer to.”
Up until now, each lunar mission to the Moon has operated with its own timescale exported from Earth. Given that the future of space travel could have several missions from different countries happening at once, having several different times being used at once wouldn’t be sustainable or viable.
It’s important that each mission is able to communicate effectively with one another and with earth regarding what’s going on and time plays a huge role in that.
As the ESA’s press release said: “These [future] missions will not only be on or around the Moon at the same time, but they will often be interacting as well – potentially relaying communications for one another, performing joint observations or carrying out rendezvous operations.”
While there’s yet to be a time zone established for the moon, it’ll be imperative for the future of space travel.