Man has long wished to fully conquer time. It’s the measure that is most elusive to us, and even with this new space clock, it still will have some level of inaccuracy that is not predictable. This quest will continue, and we will see more accurate time keeping over the coming years, and that will result in greater accuracy for what will someday hopefully become something more than spaceships, but actual starships!

But, by the standards of space navigation, quartz crystal clocks aren’t very stable at all. After six weeks, they may be off by a full millisecond, which translates at the speed of light to 185 miles (300 kilometers). That much error would have a huge impact on measuring the position of a fast-moving spacecraft, NASA said.

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