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#### 为什么NASA的深空原子钟可以在宇宙中提供导航

How NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock Could Be the Next Space GPS

>> How do we navigate through space?

Currently, spacecraft flying beyond Earth

don’t have a GPS to findtheir way through space.

Navigators on Earth send a signal to the spacecraft,

which receives it and sends it back.

Extremely precise clocks on the ground, called atomic clocks,

measure how long it takes the signal to make this two-way journey.

The amount of time tells them

how far away the spacecraft is,

and how fast it’s going.

The farther out in space the spacecraft is,

the longer it takes to receive and send a signal.

But what if humans are sent to another planet like Mars?

A two-way system that sends a signal

from Earth to a spacecraft,

back to Earth and then tothe spacecraft again

would take an average of 40 minutes.

Imagine if the GPS on your phone took 40 minutes to calculate your position.

You might miss your turn, or be several exits down the highway

before it caught up with you.

If humans travel to the Red Planet,

it would be better if the system was one-way,

allowing the explorers to immediately

determine their current position rather than waiting

for that information to come back from Earth.
NASA正在测试一项这样的新技术
NASA is testing new technology that would allow future explorers to do just that.

The Deep Space Atomic Clock is the first demonstration of an

atomic clock that can be used for navigation in deep space.

It will allow a spacecraft to calculate its own trajectory,

If a spacecraft had one of these clocks on board,

it could receive a signal from one of those big antennas on Earth,

and quickly measure its speed and position.

The Deep Space Atomic Clock could one day let astronauts

navigate safely and accurately to Mars and beyond.

This technology demonstration is the first step

in making one-way space navigation a reality.
[太空技术探索]
[Explore Space Tech]
[美国国家航空航天局]
[NASA]

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