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InTouch on Mars

March 30, 2017

“Artists” depiction of an InTouch deployed on Mars.

Recently, I received an email from my friend, Tom, telling me about a Ted Talk with an engineer from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) who has worked on almost all the Mars Lander programs. The talk focused on the unique challenges of working with a remote workforce of one… working in an environment anywhere between 35.8 million miles and 249 million miles from Earth, depending on whether their ellipses are closer to perihelion or aphelion. (You’re just going to have to take my word on that.)

Anyway, another fascinating challenge is that a Martian day is 40 minutes longer than an Earth day, so when Kronos needs to support customers on Mars, there will be some hurdles:

  • Design our timekeeping software to synchronize the time difference between Earth and Mars to support customers with a workforce on Mars, and a home office on Earth.
  • Insulate our InTouch timeclocks to operate in the harsh environment of the red planet. Sure, “a summer day on Mars may get up to 70 degrees F (20 degrees C) near the equator, but at night the temperature can plummet to about minus 100 degrees F (minus 73 C).” (

Right now we’re focused on our customers all over this planet, but when the day comes, we’ll come up with workforce management and human capital management solutions for future workforces wherever they are.

Thanks, Major Tom!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2017 4:27 pm

    Fun fact…if you look REALLY closely, you’ll see an InTouch hanging on the wall of the JPL during one scene from Matt Damon’s 2015 sci-fi drama “The Martian.”

    • April 3, 2017 5:01 pm

      That’s the coolest Kronos thing I’ve heard in a long time… Maybe since “Workforce Home” was launched!

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