AUG 29, 2018 07:18 PM PDT

Ever Wonder How Long it Takes to Get to Mars? Watch This

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Sending missions to Mars isn’t as easy as it may seem at first glance. The solar system is continuously shifting as planets orbit the Sun, so it’s never a straight line from the Earth to another world. That said, how long does it actually take to get to Mars?

The answer to that question depends on how close Mars is to Earth when we launch said mission. NASA usually waits until Mars gets close to Earth before starting a mission to conserve fuel and reach the destination more quickly. But even then, things are still complicated.

NASA uses a particular path to get to Mars known as the Hohmann Transfer method; this involves sending the spacecraft into a special orbit such that it uses little fuel and intercepts Mars as it orbits the Sun.

In a best-case scenario, this method takes approximately 260 days (8-9 months) to send a spacecraft from Earth to Mars, but as you might come to expect, that’s still a long time to wait.

With a growing interest in crewed Martian exploration missions, the pressure is on to develop faster ways of traveling to Mars. NASA aims to achieve this goal by the 2030’s.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 11, 2019
What Can the Moon's Craters Tell Us?
The Moon is littered with craters, and each one tells an important story about its past. Some of those craters are large, but others are somewhat small. Th...
DEC 11, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 11, 2019
8 More to the List: What Does the Growing Number of Repeating Fast Radio Bursts Mean to Astrophysicists
The story of Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) started back in 2007, when Australian astronomer Duncan Lorimer and his student discovered a set of puzzling data reco...
DEC 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 11, 2019
What We've Learned About Mars From India's Mangalyaan Mission
Back in 2013, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched a Mars-orbiting spacecraft dubbed the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also known as Mangal...
DEC 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 11, 2019
How is NASA's InSight Mission on Mars Doing?
NASA’s InSight mission officially landed on Mars last November, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the media hyped this mission’s purpose on the red p...
DEC 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 11, 2019
Here's Why NASA Wants to Learn More About Metallic Asteroids
NASA’s Psyche mission will investigate the properties of a unique metallic asteroid residing between Mars and Jupiter as it orbits the Sun. It’...
DEC 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 11, 2019
Astronomers Find At Least 20 More Moons Orbiting Saturn
Just this past week, Saturn overtook Jupiter as the planet in our solar system with the highest number of moons. Researchers from the Carnegie Institution...
Loading Comments...