With Elon Musk’s effective launch of the world’s most an effective rocket — SpaceX’s Falcon hefty — on Feb. 6, people journeying come Mars looks increasingly likely.

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The trouble is that there’s an tremendous distance in between Earth and also Mars, which method any pilgrimage to the red earth will take it a an extremely long time.

It’s additionally made more complex by the reality that the street is constantly an altering as the two planets rotate about the sun.

The closest that the Earth and also Mars would ever before be is a street of 33.9 million miles — that’s 9,800 times the distance in between London and brand-new York.

That’s really rare though: the more useful distance is the average, which is 140 million miles.

We’ve already launched a totality bunch the spacecraft to (or near) Mars, for this reason we have actually a stormy idea of just how long that takes with existing technology.

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Historically, the trip has actually taken anywhere from 128 days come 333 days, i m sorry is a substantial length that time for people to it is in on plank a cramped spacecraft.

SpaceX’s recently launched Falcon hefty payload — which consists of a Tesla automobile — is expected to happen Mars by approximately October, although there’s no official public estimate.

Tech mogul Elon Musk — that heads increase SpaceX — states his Interplanetary Transport mechanism (ITS) could regulate the trip in simply 80 days.

Musk’s certain is spending 10s of countless dollars top top the task each year and expects it to cost an ext than $10 exchange rate overall.

It’s intended that many of Musk’s engineers will be functioning on ITS through the finish of 2018, with the end goal of colonizing Mars.

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SpaceX expects come send its first cargo mission come Mars in 2022, v a human being mission slated because that 2024.

Excitingly, Musk believes the his its ship will eventually have the ability to manage the Earth-to-Mars trip in just 30 days.

NASA reckons it might beat Musk’s time, though, if it can scale increase a propulsion modern technology that uses a stream of photons – fairly than fuel – come propel a spacecraft.

The mechanism would show off outfitting a spaceship through reflectors that can be to win by photons, propelling the forward.

Scientists have completed nippy speeds on a tiny level in laboratories, yet we’re quiet years far from utilizing it to propel a large, heavy object prefer a spacecraft.

But if NASA can crack the puzzle, the take trip time that a small 220-pound craft can be decreased to simply three days.

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