NB. My proposed calendar is not intended to replace any calendar in use here on Earth.
The Gregorian calendar which is the mostly used in contemporary society is not quite suitable for Space Settlements. Therefore we will propose a new calendar to be used in space colonies. Why is our current calendar unsuitable for space colonies? There are several arguments against the Gregorian calendar, one of them is that it is not a perpetual calendar, which means that each year starts on a different year. Further it is a very strange idea to base the calendar of a space colony on the earth’s seasonal cycle, while space settlers are in full control of the length of their days and thus of their seasonal cycle. Therefore there is no need for adjusting the calendar of a space based society to the solstice.
Our proposal is based on Irv Bromberg’s Symmetry454 calendar, with a few modifications. According to this plan each year is divided into four quarters, which are divided into three months. The first and third have each four weeks, the second has five. Like our current calendar the symmetry454 calendar preserves the seven-day-week, which in my opinion an important feature. However as I have said, I have a few amendments.
Bromberg has proposed to start his calendar on Monday January 1, 2005 in order to ensure that each year starts at a Monday. Our suggestion is to start our calendar on Thursday January 1, 1801. Why this date? On this date Giuseppe Piazza discovered Ceres, the first asteroid known by humanity. Since asteroid mining is the key to space colonization, this particular event of immense significance of every space based civilization. This will have as a side effect, that each year will start on Thursday and end on a Wednesday, however we do not consider this as a big issue. We could simple make Wednesday as the civil rest-day, of course anyone who wants to keep Sabbath on Sunday (or on Saturday or Friday) will be free to do so.
By changing the start of the calendar we can also use this opportunity to implement a fully secular year counting, which is important given our commitment to Secular Republicanism. In our proposal the year 1801 AD will be year 0 Anno Cereris, all years before will be referred to as minus <year> Anno Cereris.
Another amendment we want to suggest, is to get rid of leap years. As I have explain above, space settlements have no reason to adjust the calendar to earth’s seasonal cycle. Therefore we do not have any need for leap years. This is quite a difference for Bromberg’s proposal, in which once in the five or six years there would be a leap week (to be calculated according to a rather complicated formula).
Of course having a year with just 364 days and no leap years, will have as a consequence that our years will run faster than “terrestrial” years. This is however no real problem, the proposed calendar for Mars colonies runs significantly slower than Earth’s, but until know I have not the impression that this a big issue among Mars enthusiasts.
Days of the week
Our proposal for the days of the week is to name them after the colours of the rainbow. Thus: Thursday will be “Red day”, Friday “Orange day”, Saturday “Yellow day”, Sunday “Green day”, Monday “Blue day” (no irony intended), Tuesday “Indigo day” and Wednesday “Violet day”.
Names of the months
In order to prevent confusing, we should give the months of our calendar different names as those of the Gregorian calendar. However we have no particular proposal for these, but our suggestion is to begin their names with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L and M respectively. This in order to make it easy to distinguish them when abbreviated.