Space Robotics

The Moon Goes Metric

Posted 16 Jan 2007 at 00:26 UTC by steve Share This

NASA and 13 other space agencies from around the world have come to an agreement that the Moon will use the standard metric system of measurement. "When we made the announcement at the meeting, the reps for the other space agencies all gave a little cheer," says Jeff Volosin, strategy development lead for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. In part this decision was made to avoid future problems like the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter robotic probe that was caused by NASA software that used olde Imperial units instead of metric. When the software interpreted newtons as furlongs per fortnight (or something equally obscure), the robot missed its orbital insertion and burned up in the atmosphere. The decision to go metric will greatly simplify life on the moon for future explorers, who won't have to buy two sets of wrenches or "worry about trying to fit a 15 millimeter nut onto a 5/8 inch bolt." This also adds 27% more land area to the portion of the solar system using the metric system. The only areas left not using the metric system are Burma, Liberia, and the US.


Distance, posted 16 Jan 2007 at 20:16 UTC by Rog-a-matic » (Master)

HELLO! Not a good idea. It will make the Moon further away requiring much more time and fuel. Well, maybe not that much if fuel measurements are also changed.

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The Metrics of the Metric system, posted 19 Jan 2007 at 19:49 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

The only areas left not using the metric system are Burma, Liberia, and the US.

First off, "Yea!" for Burma, Libera and the good ole US of A!!!

Isn't a Meter based on the circumference (or diameter?) of the Earth and when you divide that certain measurement up that it takes so many meters to go around the Earth and thereby we have a meter?

If so, wouldn't that make it inappropriate to use meters on the moon?

I understand that if you have a powerful telescope, you can see the humor-nazis who come from another planet and dwell on the moon and they certainly don't use the metric system! Except on occasion, like once every blue moon.

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