Synchronise your watches ... for Mars
DO you ever feel that there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done?
Perhaps it is time to move to Mars — or into the red planet’s time zone at least — where a day is 40 minutes longer.
Scientist Paulo de Silva, who works with the Mars Exploration Rover program, says setting your watch and living according to Mars time would create similar “body clock effects” in humans as those experienced when daylight savings comes into effect.
Dr de Silva has two watches — one is set on Earth time, the other on Mars time.
“When we work with machines on another planet you need to work on local time,” Dr de Silva said.
“It is one of the interesting challenges involved in the Mars program, it is like daylight savings in the extreme.
“Future astronauts will have to factor in a longer day and the changes in the circadian cycle that produces.”
He said time differences will be something to be factored in as human explore other planets or moons into the future.
Dr de Silva said he would go to Mars “in a heartbeat” if he did not have earthbound responsibilities to consider.
“At this stage it would be a one-way ticket and I have family to consider,” he said.
In January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover program controlled the landing of two robotic geologists — named Spirit and Opportunity — on opposite sides of the red planet.
The robotic explorers have trekked for miles across the Martian surface, conducting field geology and making atmospheric observations.