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How Long Would It Take To Get to the Moon & What This Time Depends On?
Traveling to the Moon has always been something that fascinated humans. Spacecraft have been specially designed to take people there easily. A most famous mission is Apollo 11, with Michael Collins, Neil Amstrong, and Buzz Aldrin. These three astronauts left the Kennedy Space Center back in 1969, July 16. They landed on the lunar surface in July, too, on the 20th. Their journey took them 75 hours and 49 minutes. If you wonder how long does it take to get to the Moon, depending on a mission, go ahead and read this article further.
There’s also an Apollo 8 mission, which is the shortest Moon travel mission with astronauts. It took only 69 hours and 8 minutes to get there. With the Apollo programs, NASA conducted a total of six landings on the Moon. The travel to the moon cost can be high, though. For example, in 1969, it was reported that the Apollo 11 launch was $355 million. And when calculating inflation too, today’s sum would be 2.7 billion. This is 34% less than the launch cost for SLS.
How Long is A Trip to Moon?
Any Moon mission takes a lot of time and preparation. It takes around 3 days to get to the Moon in a spacecraft. This information is obtained from the previous nine missions, out of which six have landed. It all depends on where the Moon is orbiting, as well as the spacecraft’s size or the amount of fuel it uses to get to its destination. The lunar distance fastest-crossing record was achieved by the New Horizons spacecraft from NASA, which took only 8 hours and 30 minutes to get there. In 2003, the SMART 1 spacecraft from the European Space Agency took 13.5 months to complete this same distance. When space technology advances, we will become able to cut this time.
Time needed to reach the Moon highly varies. Orbital Today compared how much it would take people to get to the Moon, depending on the spacecraft which is used and mission tasks. But first, let’s do some calculations to determine an average distance. The Moon revolves around our planet elliptically, so its distance changes constantly. At a perigee, when the Moon gets the closest to Earth, this distance is 221,500 miles, whereas at an apogee, or when the Moon is at its most distant point from Earth, the distance is 252,700 miles.
What’s the Point of Going to the Moon?
Moon data informs scientists about what’s happening on Earth. It also describes how the connection between Earth and Moon has formed and eventually evolved. It can also reveal more information about how asteroids can impact our planet’s past and future. The Moon poses many challenges with engineering, so more studying is necessary to determine how Moon exploring space technologies can be built.
Some scientists and space business enthusiasts are considering setting up a Moon base for entertainment or commerce, for example. Whether this is going to be possible remains to be seen. According to most opinions, human space travel takes much longer than robotic one. So, we must develop more tech equipment for getting to the Moon. In other words, it’s very likely that we need to enter a more technologized era before exploring the possibility of getting to the Moon faster.
Which Mission Took the Longest to Get to the Moon?
When it comes to getting to the lunar surface, there’s no constant transit time, no matter if a mission is conducted by humans or robotized. It’s all about how a spacecraft goes around the lunar orbit, as well as about planning to touch down on the Moon’s surface.
The European Space Agency’s SMART-1 space probe now holds the record for the longest trip to the lunar surface, which took a full year to get there! SMART-1 is still a spacecraft that consumes less fuel, so it’s only obvious why it’s the slowest in getting there.
At a pace of 60 miles/hour, a hypothetical automobile trip to the lunar surface would take around 4,000 hours to get there. This is 5 months and 2 weeks by car. While traveling by rail would take the same, doing it by airplane would be only 20 days.
If you want to learn more about travel to the Moon andexactly how many days it takes, you should start by studying space equipment and technology used for such missions. So far, it mostly depends on spacecraft design, fuel, and itinerary.