How Long does it Take to Get to Mars?

1,697 Views Updated: 02 Aug 2017
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How Long does it Take to Get to Mars?

Life on other planets has always been a fascinating subject and astronauts have been trying to unravel the possibility of life on the red planet for long. 'Mars One' mission is centered around establishing the human settlement on Mars but whether it will ever actually happen is a question only time can answer.

The search for life on Mars has been an ongoing mission with evidence of water being a recent discovery made about the planet. Currently, the idea of humans living on the red planet might sound ludicrous but may one day be an actual reality.

(Image Courtesy: Pinterest)

Mars is the second closest planet to the Earth, and the distance between the two keeps changing as they travel around the Sun. The closest that the two planets would ever come to each other is when Mars is at its closest point to the sun, perihelion, and Earth is the farthest, aphelion. In such a circumstance the two planets would only be 33.9 million miles or 54.6 million kilometers apart. 

This phenomenon though is yet ever to happen. It was only in the year 2003 that Mars came closest to Earth in about 60,000 years. The red planet was observed through the Hubble Space Telescope as it was only at a distance of 55,757,930 km from Earth.

(Image Courtesy: The Time Now)

The fastest spacecraft that NASA launched from Earth was 'New Horizons' which went on a mission to travel to the farthest planet Pluto. The probe left in January 2006 and the closest approach would take such a probe 942 hours or 39 days to reach Mars. The fastest approach will cover the distance in 6,944 hours or 289 days, and an average would take 3,888 hours or 162 days.

A lot of costly expeditions have been carried out to discover more about the planet whose surface is the closest to Planet Earth. The temperature on the planet varies between -225 and +60 degrees Fahrenheit and an average of -67 degrees, not your average warm afternoon atmosphere. Not to mention, it is the planet with the largest dust storms in the Solar System. So, beware!

(Image Courtesy: David Reneke)

While no concrete evidence retrieved regarding the existence of life on Mars, the scientific world is still in a heated debate on this topic. In the year 2005 during a European Space Agency conference in 2005 said that 75 % of scientists believed that there was life on Mars while 25% believe that life still exists on Mars.

Though, life on Mars is just a huge probability, as a lot of factors prevent the planet from offering a habitable environment to Humans. The number one threat is zero gravity which poses an enormous risk to humans both physically and psychologically. Physical ailments caused due to the lack of gravity are improper blood circulation, space sickness, weak immune system, back aches, muscle loss, and radiation.

'Mars One' mission is a Dutch based project which is a not for profit foundation which is going to establish permanent colonies inhabited by the human in 2023. A group of 40 people will be part of the project with four of them being sent to Mars in September 2022; their journey will take nearly 8 months to cover a distance of 56 million km. 

How does the idea of humans inhabiting Mars sound to you? Give your feedback in the comment section below.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Galaxy Mars)

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