White House directs NASA to develop lunar time standard

WASHINGTON — A new White House policy instructs NASA to develop a strategy for a new time standard for use on cislunar missions to provide improved navigation and related services on and around the moon.
The Policy on Celestial Time Standardization in Support of the National Cislunar Science and Technology Strategy, released by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy April 2, directs NASA to develop a strategy by the end of 2026 to create Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC), a new time standard based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Earth but adapted to operations on the moon.
“As NASA, private companies and space agencies around the world launch missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond, it’s important that we establish celestial time standards for safety and accuracy,” Steve Welby, OSTP deputy director for national security, said in a statement.
Simply using UTC in cislunar space in adequate for precision operations, the policy notes. UTC is t

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