How Long Does It Take To Get To The Moon (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 Days

In 1969, on 20th July American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon. Then six and a half hours later, Neil came to be the 1st person to step on the moon. Being the nearest celestial body and the satellite of the Earth, it plays a role in our lives.

This impacts the health, hormones, and behavior of the tides. It has long inspired us to look up and reach beyond the atmosphere of our planet; that’s the part of why president John F Kennedy set his sights and NASA’s objective mission to the moon.

How Long Does It Take To Get To The Moon?

VehiclePeriod
Spacecraft (240,000 miles)3 Days
Car (*10 circumferences of Earth)6 Days

It usually takes three days for a spacecraft to reach the surface of the moon. Like other celestial bodies in space, the moon’s orbit is not exactly circular, but it is elliptical. This implies that the moon is closer to the Earth’s surface at times and more than others that’s why we witness a super moon when the moon is near.

The orbital point where the moon is closer to the Earth is known as the perigee. While the point of the orbit where it is far from the Earth is called apogee. In 1969, it took 76 hours to reach the moon.

Since the moon is smaller and has much less gravity. If you could stand on the surface of the moon, you would experience only 17 percent of the force of the gravity that you would experience on the earth. With the advantage of orbital mechanics, and modern affordable equipment astrophysicists can plan lunar missions to coincide when that time the moon is closer to the Earth.

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Often getting to the moon was though not an easy task. There are several factors that spacecraft must overcome to travel roughly 238,900 miles to even make it there in the first place.

While on Earth, spacecraft needs to travel 25,025 mph or 40,270 km per hour to clear out the atmosphere. The Apollo Program used massive 363 foot tall three staged Saturn V rockets to propel astronauts from the Earth out into the confines of space.

Why Does It Take So Long To Get To The Moon?

It is not easy to get to the moon and collect information on it. This takes a lot of process and calculations to set the rocket for a journey to the moon.

To reach the celestial body NASA would require a heavy-lift launch vehicle and spacecraft capable of both reaching lunar space and bringing the astronauts back to the Earth.

The moon’s gravity then pulled the spacecraft around the far side of the moon where the CSM engine was burnt to break the vehicle into lunar orbit. Three days were taken regularly to get from the TLI engine burn to the CSM engine braking burn via the unpowered cruise.

If NASA opted for a fuel-efficient Hohmann transfer orbit, it might have up to 5 days to reach the moon.

They needed to go slow enough so that the moon’s gravity would absorb them into lunar orbit. The Apollo trip carried a limited amount of fuel they planned on being absorbed into the moon’s orbit and whipped back to the earth, only firing thrusters when they needed to.

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The advantage of orbital mechanics, astrophysicists will be able to plan the lunar missions to coincide with the time the moon is closer to the Earth. Another reason that space missions take a long time is that we don’t have rockets that get us through space very quickly. India’s Chandrayan 2 took more than six weeks to reach the surface of the moon. With the newly designed spacecraft and technologies, the duration may decrease soon.

Conclusion

Although it takes almost three days to go through this process yet, it may also get covered easily. It is truly determined to make a solid mindset to make a journey to the moon with the affordable time and easy discovering facilities.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09500690802595805
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-56835-1_4
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