How Long Does It Take to Get to Space? – Learn the Facts

how long does it take to get to space

There are a few things that are left unknown in today’s world. With so many people researching using sophisticated machines, getting the facts you need on any given topic is easy. But when it comes to space, it is safe to assume that we might never know the true extent of it.

You see, whenever you look up into the sky, you look into a great abyss that deserves admiration. But how long does it take to get to space, is there a line separating space from earth, and what exactly is up there?

We were also interested in finding the answers to these questions, so we decided to research and share our findings with you. Stick around for the rest of this guide if you want to learn more about space and space travel.

How Long Does It Take to Get to Space?

Before we talk about the length of the journey to space, we need to define what space is and where it starts.

It is safe to assume that space does not have an actual beginning and end, but researchers have decided to define the edge of space as being approximately 62 miles from the earth if you measure it from sea level. This edge has been named theKarman line, marking the boundary between earth and space.

A person cannot survive in space unless protected by a special space suit or traveling with an actual space shuttle. Once you reach that boundary, you will have to deal with a lack of oxygen and gravitational force. If you get out of the shuttle or remove the suit, you will likely meet your maker within a few minutes.

With this in mind, astronauts are the only people allowed in space. They undergo extensive training and preparation before embarking on a journey to space. But at some point, they will be ready to travel to space, which is when the fun starts.

To travel from earth to space, you need approximately 8 minutes. But this depends on your direction and the destination you hope to reach. If you are going straight from earth to the Karman line, it will take you only a few minutes to reach the destination.

So far, several space shuttles have successfully traveled to space. One was the famous American shuttle that reached the Karman line in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Elon Musk’sFalcon Heavy rocket reached the line in 3 minutes and 24 seconds.

Indeed, there will be more advanced shuttles in the future that will cut this travel time even shorter. Who knows – they may allow us to travel even further than we have traveled thus far.

How Long Does It Take to Get to the Moon?

As you may guess, astronauts do not go into space for the fun of it. They usually have a clear goal or destination to reach. The destination might be the moon if it is not the Karman line.

The first successful trip to the moon happened in 1969. Since then, there have been many successful missions. There are likely to be other missions in the future, mainly because the moon is not that far from earth.

To calculate the miles from earth to the moon, you’ll need to travel 238,855 miles before reaching your destination. It seems like a lot, but you must consider that rocket ships used for space travel can reach a speed of about 17,500 miles per hour. If you put it together, you will need to travel only three days to get to the moon.

You can also find the International Space Station approximately the same distance from earth. It is 240,000 miles away from earth and can be reached in 3 days. Some more advanced spaceships can also get there in 6 hours or less.

How Long Does It Take To Get to the Sun?

As enjoyable as trips to the moon seem, we should look into the possibility of traveling to the sun since the sun is also a vital part of space.

Thus far, even with all technological and scientific advancements, no one can get to the sun. You can get close to it, but what is considered close in space is not that close on earth. As far as we know, the nearest object to get to the sun was approximately 4 million miles away from it.

Think about this for a minute – traveling 4 million miles on earth is almost like taking 160 trips around the entire planet. It would take more than 300 years to travel that much, which is impossible for a person to achieve. And yet, in space, things seem so different.

It’s not likely that anyone will get closer to the sun because the mission is dangerous. The heat from the sun can damage any shuttle that people create, leading to the astronauts’ death. Because of this, astronauts and researchers are focused on trips to the moon, other planets, and even outer space – everything but the sun.

How Long Does It Take to Get to Another Planet?

Space Shuttle Takes off to Mars.

For a while now, there have been talks about exploring the possibility of life on another planet. We know some planets are unsuitable for living, at least for humans. However, the same cannot be said for Mars. Some scientists are convinced that we can turn Mars into a planet that could accommodate people should earth deteriorate further in the coming years.

These talks got us thinking about how long it would take to get to another planet – let’s start with Mars. According to research, it would take about nine months to get from Earth to Mars. While the trip is achievable in a shorter period, the consequence is that the rocket engine burns for a long time, consuming extra fuel. However, there is no current technology to make this feasible.

Once you get to Mars, you will have to stay for a while before you can make the journey back. The round trip to Mars would last approximately 21 months.

These numbers can vary because earth and Mars are constantly orbiting around the sun. They do not move at the same speed, so at some points, the two planets are at a greater distance from one another. If you are an astronaut trying to go to Mars when it is the farthest away from earth, it will take over nine months to reach your destination.

But what about the other planets?

There have been fewertrips to other planets in our solar system. Here is the approximate travel time needed to get to each one:

  • Mercury: Messenger spacecraft reached Mercury in 6.5 years.
  • Venus: Magellan spacecraft reached Venus in 15 months.
  • Jupiter: Galileo spacecraft reached Jupiter in 6 years.
  • Saturn: Cassini spacecraft reached Saturn in 7 years.
  • Uranus: Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft reached Uranus in 8.5 years.
  • Neptune: Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft reached Neptune in 12 years.
  • Pluto: New Horizons spacecraft reached Pluto in 9.5 years.

It would take approximately 12 years to travel to all planets in our solar system. We cannot even imagine what astronauts on board feel like when they see the planets from their spaceship. It must be surreal yet fascinating to do something extraordinary and return to earth to tell your story.

FAQs on Space Traveling

How Long Is One Hour in Space?

Whenever you travel to space, you cannot expect to measure time the same way you would on earth. In space, there is something called Coordinated Universal Time. According to that time, one hour on earth is about 0.0026 seconds in space. One hour in space would be approximately seven years on earth.

How Long Can You Survive in a Rocket Ship?

The longest a person has stayed in space in a rocket ship is 437 days. Valery Polyakov, a Russian cosmonaut, remained in the rocket ship for 437 consecutive days before returning to earth and exiting the rocket ship. They would have been able to spend more time in the rocketship should the mission demand that from them.

If we are talking about non-consecutive days spent in a rocket ship, the most recorded days were by a Russian astronaut, who spent a total of 803 days in such ships. So, this leads to the conclusion that people can endure long stays in rocket ships.

Has an Astronaut Ever Floated Away in Space?

In 1984, Bruce McCandless II worked as a NASA astronaut on a space mission when he exited the space shuttle and tried to rehearse a repair mission. Using his Manned Maneuvering Unit, he floated away from the shuttle and performed the first spacewalk before returning to the shuttle unharmed. The images of him floating in space with absolutely nothing around him are unbelievable and frightening.

Wrap Up

If you followed our story till this point, you should be able to share details when asked, “ how long does it take to get to space?” We didn’t end it there – we also shared details about the time it takes to get to the International Space Station, the Moon, the Sun, and the other planets in our solar system.

If you know any interesting facts or stories about space, do not hesitate to share them with us. We cannot wait to read everything you put in the comment section!

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