how long does it take to get to mars

how long does it take to get to mars? The planet Mars is one of the brightest objects in the night sky, so we can easily see it as a bright red star with the naked eye. Every two years, Mars and the world reach their closest point, it's called "Counterposition." When that happens, Mars can be as close to Earth as 55 million miles. And every two years, space agencies are using the advantage of this orbital settlement to send spacecraft to the red planet. So, how long does it take to get to Mars?

The time of the total journey from Earth to Mars is changing between 150-300 days, based on the time of the launch, the alignment of the Earth and Mars and the journey of the spacecraft to reach its destination. In fact, it's the first factor that affects the time you're willing to burn fuel. More fuel, of course, is called back as a shorter journey time; But that means increased cost.


The history of going to Mars


The first shuttle to complete the journey from Earth to Mars was NASA's Mariner 4. The shuttle was launched on 28 November 1964 and was successfully attracted to Mars on 14 June 1965, taking 21 photos. The total flight time of Mariner 4 was 228 days.


The next successful mission to Mars was Mariner 6; The shuttle launched on February 25, 1969, reached the planet on June 31st, 1969. The flight time lasted only 156 days. He successfully completed this journey in Mariner 7 and needed only 131 days to do so.


For the first time in a successful orbit around Mars, Mariner 9 was launched on 30 May 1971 and was in orbit at the end of a 167-day process on 13 November 1971.


The time model for the Mars discoveries has been fixed for up to 50 years: about 150-300 days.

To give more examples:


  • Viking 1 (1976) = > 335 days
  • Viking 2 (1976) = > 360 days
  • Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (2006) = > 210 days
  • Phoenix Lander (2008) = > 295 days
  • Curiosity Lander (2012) = > 253 days

how long does it take to get to mars Why is it taking so long?

 Considering the fact that Mars is only 55 million kilometers away, and that the shuttle travels at the peak of the speed of 20,000 km/h, you may expect the shuttle to complete the journey by 115 days; But it takes longer. The main reason for this is that both Earth and Mars orbit around the sun. You can't just aim at Mars and set your rockets on fire; Because if you do, Mars will already be moving. Instead, the space shuttle, which will be launched from Earth, must be targeted at the point of Mars.

Another limitation is fuel. If you had an unlimited amount of fuel, you'd direct your space shuttle to Mars, fire your rockets halfway through the journey, then you'd go back and cut the pace in the other half of the journey. So you could reduce the time of the journey to a fixed rate, but the fuel needed for it is beyond the possibilities.

How to get to Mars with the lowest amount of fuel?


The primary concern of engineers is how to take a spacecraft to Mars with the lowest fuel usage. Because robots are very concerned about the aggressive environment of space, it makes perfect sense to lower the cost of rocket launchers as much as you can.


NASA engineers are using a travel technique called Hohmann transfer orbit (or Minimum energy transfer orbit) to make it possible to send a space shuttle from Earth to Mars with a minimal amount of fuel. The technique was first suggested by Walter Hohmann, who published the first statement of this maneuver in 1925.


Instead of targeting your rocket directly to Mars, you're increasing the orbit of your space shuttle, so the sun is watching a bigger orbit around the Earth. As a result, this orbit crosses the orbit of Mars, and the moment Mars is right there.


If you want to make the launch with minimal fuel, you need to choose the long way and increase the orbit and upgrade the journey time to Mars.


Other ideas to reduce your journey time to Mars


While a space shuttle waits 250 days to reach Mars, we need a little patience, and if we're sending people, we might need a completely different propulsion method. Why? Space is an aggressive environment, and the radiation that is in space between planets is causing the astronauts a long-term risk of serious health. The cosmic rays in the background also take on the task of a radiation barrage which causes cancer; But there's a bigger risk, the powerful solar storms that can kill unprotected astronauts in a few hours! If you can reduce the time of the journey, you reduce the time when astronauts are exposed to radiation, and in addition, you decrease the resources needed for the return journey.


Going with a nuke

In one of the ideas, we can heat the processed liquid (like hydrogen) into a nuclear reactor at intense temperatures, and then drain it out of the rocket's mouth at high speeds, creating a thrust force. Nuclear reactors with more intense energy than chemical reactors could achieve faster thrust with less fuel; It is suggested that a nuclear rocket can be reduced to 7 months of travel time.


Go with magnetism


Another proposed technology is the name of the variable Special Impulse Magnetoplasma rocket (VASIMR). The system, consisting of electromagnetic motors, uses radio waves to ionize and heat the sprayer. It creates an ionised gas called plasma; This creates a magnetic effect, which is then left behind the space shuttle, forming a high-speed propulsion force. Former astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz is a pioneer for the development of this technology and is among the expectations of establishing a prototype to maintain its level on Earth at the International Space Station. On a mission to Mars, it is believed that a VASIMR rocket can reduce its travel time by under 5 months.


Go with antimatter


Probably, one of the most unusual proposals is to use an anti-matter rocket. An anti-matter that will be created in particle accelerators is probably the most intense energy you can use. When the substance of the atom meets the antimatter of the atom, they turn into pure energy and only 10 milligrams of anti-matter, as assumed in Albert Einstein's famous E = MC2 equation, can deliver the human-carrying shuttle to Mars in just 45 days. But even if it is possible, we need $250 million to produce a very small amount of antimatter.


Future journeys to Mars


Although incredible technologies are offered to shorten the length of the route to Mars, engineers will continue to use the minimum energy transfer trajectory method they have tried and accurately with their chemical rockets. The MAVEN mission that NASA will launch in 2013 is to use this technique; In addition, ESA's external Mars (Exommars) missions will follow the same technique. The proliferation of other techniques, and the journey to Mars, appears to be more than a decade ahead of us. But who knows, maybe a new low-cost technology is developed and we don't have to wait that long.


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