Watchmaker builds 24.65 hour clock for Mars scientists [SciencePunk]
Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NPR both have features on watchmaker Garo Anserlian, who designed a special watch that keeps time with Martian solar days. Snip:
The martian day is longer than Earth’s, but this minimal variance can amount to physical and mental fatigue. Every day, team members are reporting to work 39 minutes later than the previous day.
“Everything on this mission is based on local solar time on Mars,” said Julie Townsend, Mars Exploration Rover avionics systems engineer. “From home, during the mission practice tests, it was very difficult to constantly translate Earth time to Mars time.”
Townsend and her co-worker Scott Doudrick, a systems engineer on the project, set out to find a solution for this otherwordly problem. The pair began to ask watchmakers to tackle the challenge but each one turned them away, saying that it couldn’t be done unless they placed a large order (10,000 plus) for quartz-controlled watches; they insisted that attempting to convert mechanical watches was not possible.
Thankfully Anserlian proved the doubters wrong, and his Mars watches now helps Nasa scientists keep track of their distant rovers.
Thanks Brendon for the tip!