The curious reason why NASA always uses a countdown clock on all its launches

This is the reason why NASA has been using an imposing countdown on each of its launches for several decades, and they did not invent it.

Recently the POT I tried with the Artemis I, a new rocket that was going to lay the first seed again so that the human being would step on the Moon again, and during the sequence of launch sure you saw the famous digital clock with a countdown.

And it is that the countdown is something classic of any release of rocket or probe into space. It was recently put in contention with the Artemis I, in a failed mission.

And it is that countdown clocks allow astronauts and engineers to synchronize their work during the launch of some type of rocket. “The clock serves as the visual version of a whistling kettle, allowing viewers to build up their excitement as launch time approaches.”, they point out from Atlas Obscura.

But this countdown clock idea isn’t specifically from NASA, it’s inspired by the Austrian sci-fi filmmaker Fritz Langwith the movie called “Woman in the Moon” featuring a countdown clock idea.

In this film, the astronauts were preparing for takeoff while on a big screen the time slowed down, something that gave that suspense associated with the launch and made the viewer more hooked.

And then decades later NASA started doing the same thing with a countdown, specifically since the launch of the Explorer 1 satellite in 1958. This turned out to be useful for keeping the launch sequence organized and also for communicating with the public.

And NASA explains it to you

The space agency clarifies that “countdown breaks, or waits, are built into the count to allow the launch team to target an accurate launch window and to provide a time cushion for certain tasks and procedures that affect the overall schedule”.

In this way you already know the reason why NASA has been using countdowns in each of its launches for many decades.


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Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar has worked in the News sector for 05 years and is currently the Owner and Editor of Then24. He reside in Delhi, India with his Family.

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