Quartz Oscillator

To improve navigation in space, NASA sought more stable timing instruments. Beginning in 1961, NASA used this quartz oscillator as the main timing and radio frequency standard at the Goldstone tracking station.

This oscillator improved the accuracy of velocity measurements from tens of meters per second to about 50 millimeters per second. In 1962, it was replaced by atomic clocks that could measure velocity to an accuracy of 5 millimeters per second.

Caption:
Beginning in 1961, NASA used this quartz oscillator as the main timing and radio frequency standard at the Goldstone tracking station.
Type: Artifact
Image Date: 2012
Credit: National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Origin: National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Creator: Jaclyn Nash
JN2012-1326
Innovations
 
Beginning in 1961, NASA used this quartz oscillator as the main timing and radio frequency standard at the Goldstone tracking station.
Beginning in 1961, NASA used this quartz oscillator as the main timing and radio frequency standard at the Goldstone tracking station.