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How much would an atomic clock on board the new horizons spacecraft drift in comparison to an atomic clock on the surface of the earth near the equator after the spacecraft's 10 year journey to Pluto?

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  • $\begingroup$ The people in charge of monitoring the systems on these spacecraft adjust the onboard clocks to keep them "aligned" with those on Earth. They can never be truly synchronized, but they try to keep them within some set uncertainty that is defined, usually, by the mission requirements. $\endgroup$ – honeste_vivere Jul 18 '15 at 13:50
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Let's say its moving roughly 32,500 mph or about 16.316 km/s relative to the Earth. If we consider special relativity then we have ten years of seconds divided by the square root of one minus 16 kilometers per second squared over the speed of light squared. The answer turns out to be roughly half a second!

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