L>q2811How lengthy would a expedition to Mars take?Contrary to the "point and shoot" idea, one actual trip to mars looks very round a bout together the figure above shows because that a common "minimum cost" trajectory. This, by the way, is dubbed a Hoeman move Orbit, and also is the main stay the interplanetary an are travel. It depends on the details that the orbit girlfriend take in between the Earth and also Mars. The common time throughout Mars"s closest technique to the planet every 1.6 year is around 260 days. Again, the details rely on the rocket velocity and also the closeness the the planets, yet 260 job is the number i hear most often give or take 10 days. Part high-speed carry orbits might make the expedition in as little as 130 days. Because that a more detailed discussion, watch the food notes because that Physics 6 by Prof. Craig Patten at UC. San Diego. Ns will catch the relevant comments below: just how long does the take? it takes the earth one year come orbit the Sun and it takes Mars around 1.9 years ( speak 2 years for easy calculation ) to orbit the Sun. The elliptical orbit i m sorry carries girlfriend from earth to Mars is longer than Earth"s orbit, but shorter than Mars" orbit. Accordingly, we have the right to estimate the time it would take to finish this orbit by averaging the lengths of Earth"s orbit and also Mars" orbit. Therefore, it would take around one and also a half years to complete the elliptical orbit over ( solid and also dashed parts! ). Due to the fact that it would be quite to invest some time in ~ Mars, us are only interested in the one method trip ( solid heat ) i beg your pardon is half of the orbit, and also would take fifty percent the time that the complete orbit, or around nine months. So that takes nine months to gain to Mars. It is possible to get to Mars in less time, but this would require you to burn her rocket engines longer, using an ext fuel. With current rocket technology, this isn"t really feasible. In the nine months the takes to gain to Mars, Mars move a significant distance around in the orbit, around 3/8 of the way around the Sun. You have to setup ahead to make certain that by the time you with the street of Mar"s orbit, the Mars is whereby you need it come be! Practically, this method that you can only start your trip as soon as Earth and also Mars are properly lined up. This only happens every 26 months. That is there is only one launch window every 26 months. After spending 9 month on the means to Mars, you will most likely want to invest some time there. In fact, you need to spend part time at Mars! If you to be to proceed on your orbit around the Sun, then as soon as you got ago to where you started, earth would no longer be wherein you left it! In stimulate to obtain out of her elliptical orbit roughly the Sun, and into Mars orbit, you will again need to burn part fuel. If you desire to discover the surface ar of Mars, friend will also need fuel to gain your lander turn off the surface of Mars. On the first trip come Mars, the is vital to bring all of this fuel v you to Mars. ( probably someday we could manufacture rocket fuel top top Mars ). In fact, you deserve to only soil a small part of the delivery on Mars, due to the fact that landing every little thing on the surface and also lifting it off again would need enormous quantities of fuel. Therefore, you will more than likely leave component of the ship, including all the supplies for the trip home, orbiting Mars, while component of the crew goes to check out the surface. Similar to you have to wait because that Earth and Mars to be in the suitable postion before you head come Mars, you also have come make sure that they space in the appropriate position before you head home. That method you will need to spend 3-4 month at Mars prior to you can begin your return trip. Every in all, your expedition to Mars would certainly take around 21 months: 9 months to obtain there, 3 months there, and 9 month to gain back. With our existing rocket technology, over there is no method around this. The long duration of trip has several implications. First, you have actually to bring enough food, water, clothes, and also medical supplies for the crew in addition to every the scientific instruments you will desire to take. You also have to lug all that fuel! In addition, if you space in an are for ripe months, girlfriend will require a the majority of shielding to protect you indigenous the radiation that the Sun. Water, and cement make an excellent shielding however they are very heavy. Every together, it is estimated that because that a crew that six, friend would need to 3 million pounds of supplies! The Shuttle have the right to lift about 50,000 pounds right into space, therefore it would certainly take 60 spaceship launches to acquire all your supplies right into space. In the background of the Shuttle, there have actually only been about 90 launches, and there are much less than ten launches every year... So v the shuttle, it would take 6 years just to acquire the supplies into space. For this reason, you would most likely need to develop a launch system that can lift more than 50,000 pounds right into space. Also with a far better launch vehicle, it is unlikely that you might launch the Mars mission all at once. You will have to launch the in number of pieces and also assemble them in orbit. Second, you space going to it is in in room for an extended period of time, and also there a physiological aftermath of being weightless for long periods that time. For one, her muscles carry out not should work together hard. In solution to being offered less, your muscles start to shrink or atrophy. Remember, your heart is also a muscle, and pumping blood roughly your body is simpler in the weightless environment of space, so your heart it s okay weaker together well. On an extended space voyage, her muscles might become so weak that it would certainly be challenging for you to was standing upright once you return to an environment where you are subject to gravity. Similar to your muscles have to do less work to relocate you around in space, her bones are not necessary as much. The main function of your skeleton is to support the load of your body. When you room weightless in space, her body realizes the the bones space not being supplied as much and they start to shed calcium, and become much more brittle. These are serious effects which may impair the capacity of the astronauts to lug out experiments and tasks as soon as they get to Mars, where they will be based on gravity again. In stimulate to examine these physiological results of long duration weightlessness, you have to do experiments on world who have actually been weightless for expanded periods the time. Currently the Russian Mir space station is one location where astronauts deserve to stay for prolonged periods of time, and also research into these effect is ongoing.

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But due to the fact that you will must conduct many more experiments, and also you will likewise need a location to assemble the mission, the will more than likely be important to construct a larger space station to be used as a staging ground for the mission come Mars.