(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC)

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC)


Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC)

  • NASA develop Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC)by December 2026, in collaboration with international space agencies involved in the Artemis Accords.

Key Details

  • LTC will be the official time standard for the Moon and its surrounding space (cislunar space).

  • Unlike Earth, which uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) based on our planet’s rotation, the Moon’s slower rotation and weaker gravity necessitate a separate timekeeping system LTC will be crucial for various aspects of lunar exploration.

  • Streamlining Communication: With multiple space agencies and commercial entities operating on the Moon, a common time reference is essential for clear communication between missions and Earth-based stations.

  • Enhanced Navigation: Precise timekeeping is vital for accurate navigation on the lunar surface. LTC will allow spacecrafts to synchronize with each other for efficient operations.

  • Facilitating Logistics: As commercial activities pick up on the Moon, LTC will ensure smooth transactions and logistical planning based on a unified time framework.


  • The Moon’s uneven gravitational pull and varying rotation speeds across its surface complicate matters. 

  • Additionally, clocks on the Moon would naturally run slightly faster compared to those on Earth due to the weaker gravity, according to the theory of special relativity.


  • International Consensus: NASA, along with other space agencies, needs to reach a common agreement on the technical specifications of LTC, taking into account the Moon’s unique gravitational and rotational characteristics.

  • Deployment of Lunar Clocks: Setting up a network of atomic clocks on the lunar surface will be necessary to establish a reliable and accurate time reference.

  • Establishing Conversion Mechanisms: A system for converting between LTC and UTC will be essential for smooth communication and data exchange between lunar and Earth-based operations.

  • Standardization for Future Missions: LTC should be adopted as the standard timekeeping system for all future lunar missions, regardless of the participating agency or country.

  • Public Awareness: Raising public awareness about LTC will help generate interest and understanding as lunar exploration progresses.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter