Space Station Iss

One of the world's most accurate atomic clocks is to be launched into orbit and attached to the International Space Station (ISS) thanks to an agreement signed by the French space agency.

The PHARAO (Projet d'Horloge Atomique par Refroidissement d'Atomes en Orbite) atomic clock is to attached to the ISS in an effort to more accurately test Einstein's theory of relatively as well as increasing the accuracy of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) amongst other geodesy experiments.

PHARAO is a next generation caesium atomic clock with an accuracy that corresponds to less than a second's drift every 300,000 years. PHARAO is to be launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2013.

These types of clocks are the most accurate timekeeping devices available to mankind yet they are susceptible to changes in gravitational pull, as predicted by Einstein's theory, as time itself is slewed by the Earth's pull. By placing this accurate clock into orbit the effect of Earth's gravity is lessened allowing PHARAO to be more accurate than Earth based clock.

While these clocks are not new to orbit, as many satellites; including the GPS network (Global Positioning System) contain atomic clocks, however, PHARAO will be among the most accurate clocks ever launched into space, allowing it to be used for far more detailed analysis.

These clocks have been around since the 1960's but their increasing development has paved the way for more and more advanced technologies. These clocks form the basis of many modern technologies from satellite navigation to allowing computer networks to communicate effectively across the globe.

Computer networks receive time signals from atomic clocks via NTP time servers (Network Time Protocol) which can accurately synchronise a computer network to within a few milliseconds of UTC.

Richard N Williams is a technical author and specialist in atomic clocks, telecommunications, NTP and network time synchronisation helping to develop dedicated NTP clocks. Please visit us for more information about an NTP server or other NTP time server solutions.

What is the ISS (international space station)?

What is the ISS (international space station) and what does it do? werent they meant to finish it ages ago? and when did they start making it?

The ISS is a joint space project between several countries, including the US, Russia, Japan, Canada, and a bunch of EU nations. Its a scientific endeavor so they constantly run experiments and collect data, especially on things like the effects of prolonged exposure to zero-g's on the human body.

The first module was launched in '98, and right now its scheduled to be finished in 2011 or so. I think the original completion date was '03, but several problems (like the grounding of NASA's shuttle fleet) delayed it significantly




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