In the 1960's the first few Mars mission designs were proposed, and, at first, some of the less complicated robotics-based projects were put into action. It was around this time of early Mars exploration and mission planning that project designers realized that we, as humans, would have to adapt to the Martian clock and calendar during these missions; we would not be able to force Mars to work within Earth time periods. In the years that followed, a fairly common way of dealing with this predicament came into being as numerous suggestions were made to solve the problem. Although it might not seem like a major dilemma to a casual onlooker, it is imperative that this time-keeping complication is completely solved in time for the first manned mission to Mars. It is an issue that will not only concern the entire first mission, but will affect all future manned Martian landings.
The biggest problem we have with Martian time-keeping is that earthlings are naturally built for the 24 hour day, 365 day year of Earth; this schedule is so deeply and evolutionarily ground into our being that it is difficult to adapt to Mars' way of time. Our seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years are only earth-bound conventions, for Earth is the only place that they are logistically functional. Stemming from this, on a manned Martian mission, it would be extremely troublesome to coordinate the earth-bound mission members and the mars-bound astronauts because of the difference in time keeping schedules. Furthermore, once a method for time-keeping is established, crafting time pieces for all mission members will continue to be a difficult and bothersome task (USA.gov, 2004).
The primary cause for our Martian time-keeping concerns lies in Ma...
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Schmunk, R. & Allison, M. (2012, August). Technical Notes on Mars Solar Time as Adopted by the Mars24 Sunclock. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/mars24/help/notes.html
USA.gov. (2004, January). Watchmaker With Time to Lose. MarsRover.NASA.gov. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from http://marsrover.nasa.gov/spotlight/spirit/a3_20040108.html
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