International Space Community Seeks Establishment of Lunar Time Zone

While time is a concept associated with Earth, experts indicate it may be time to establish a time zone on the moon.

Last year, the concept gained traction among international space agencies and has remained a topic of interest as various governments prepare for their lunar missions. Presently, lunar time is determined by the nation performing the mission.

“At this discussion at ESTEC, we agreed on the need and necessity of defining an internationally recognized standard lunar reference time to which all lunar systems and users may prefer. Currently, a coordinated international effort is being started in this direction,” said European Space Agency navigation system expert Pietro Giordano.

European Space Agency (Image source:

According to the ESA, the lesser gravitational pull of the moon relative to Earth causes clocks to run 56 milliseconds per day quicker on the moon.

The proponents of this universal timekeeping standard are also discussing which agency will be responsible for setting and maintaining the moon clock once it is launched.

In 2025, NASA’s first manned mission to the moon in over 50 years is anticipated to touch down on the lunar surface.