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Distance From Earth to Mars - How long would it take to get there?

Last Update November 16th 2012 see below - Like this page? Come and tell us what you think on our facebook page!

Miles Between Planet Earth and Planet Mars

source nasaWe loved this story we saw - it concerned a group of men who stayed in isolation for 18 months to simulate a trip to Mars. The guys stayed in complete isololation. Even their communications were limited as they would be were they to travel to Mars with a 25 minute gap between send and receive times.

So how far from us are those little red men? We were surprised to learn that the distance isn't actually fixed in that it depends where the planets are in their orbits.

The nearest that Mars has ever been to the Earth is 56 million km or about 34.8 million miles. On the opposite end of the scale, Mars and Earth can be a whopping 401 million km (249 million miles) apart when they are in opposition and both are at aphelion. The average distance between the two is 225 million km (140 million miles).

We figure that any trip to mars would be undertaken at a point when the two were closest, so we've used that distance to make our calculations!

How long does it take to get from Earth to Mars?

  • If you could walk from Earth to Mars at a brisk rate of 4mph would take about 4000 years!
  • If you had a car and were abiding by the highway speed limits is the UK of 70mph it would take a mere 228 years.
  • If you had a 747 Jet Plane the time comes down a whole bunch at just around 32 years!

Of course we are being a little silly as you would'nt (couldn't even) walk, drive or use a 747 aircraft to get to Mars! You'd use a space ship travelling at 1000's of miles per hour.

We asked Bing and Google for their opinions on what are the current fastest modes of space travel out there and both pointed to a Wikipedia page that cited the Apollo 10 manned flight speed record of 39,896 km/h. That was in 1969 so we'd like to think that any newer spaceship might be able to go a little faster than that, but for the purposes of what is known we'll stick to that speed for our calculation.

So, without further ado...

The time taken to travel the average distance of 140 million miles from Earth to Mars would be about 8.4 months (235.2 days) each way.

How did we calculate this?

140 million miles divided by 24790 mph or 140000000mls/24790mph/24hrs)/365days

That's a hell of a long time to be in space enroute to a new world, don't you think?

 

Update Mars Landing August 6th 2012

Update - Could there be life on Mars? Not according to the Guardian

A cool video from Nasa showing the recent landing of 'curiosity' the rover! They landed in a nice flat spot and a spokeman said, "beautiful". How exciting is all this? One day people will live on Mars and we really will have holidays to places like this. Ok, maybe not you and I, but our grandchildren maybe?

Check out these fantastic panaromic views from Mars!

Come and tell us what you think on our facebook page!

If you liked this Mars piece then you might also like our distance from the moon to earth piece too.

2011 © distance-calculator.co.uk * distances provided are a guide measure only
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