If you wanted to travel to Jupiter, how long would it take? The answer depends on a number of factors ranging from the locations of Earth and Jupiter to the technology that will get you there.
Here we take a look at how long the flight takes Jupiter It will take the use of available technology and explore the travel times of previous missions to the Jovian neighborhood.
Currently, the spacecraft that took the shortest time to reach Jupiter was from NASA new HorizonsFile is clicked gas giant In 405 days, or 1 year, 1 month, and 9 days in the 2007 flight.
Related: Jupiter Missions: Past, Present, and Future
How far is Jupiter?
To determine how long it will take to reach Jupiter, we must first know the distance between Land and a gas giant.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun however The distance between Earth and Jupiter It is constantly changing as it orbits the sun in elliptical or elliptical trajectories.
When the two planets are at their closest point to each other, the distance is to Jupiter 365 million miles (588 million km). The average distance between Earth and Jupiter is 444 million miles (714 million km), according to Science communication site The Nine Planets. At the farthest point in its orbit, the gas giant is 601 million miles (968 million kilometers) away.
How long does it take to travel to Jupiter at the speed of light?
Light travels at approximately 186,282 miles per second (299.792 km per second). Therefore, bright light from Jupiter would take the following time to reach Earth (or vice versa):
- Closest approach: 33 minutes
- Farthest approach: 54 minutes
- Average distance: 40 minutes
The fastest spacecraft to date
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The fastest spacecraft is NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which continues to break its own speed records as it approaches the sun. On November 21, 2021, the Parker Solar Probe reached a top speed of 101 miles (163 kilometers) per second during its tenth flyby of our star, which translates to 364,621 miles per hour (586,000 kilometers per hour). according to NASA statement (Opens in a new tab)When the Parker Solar Probe comes within 4 million miles (6.2 million kilometers) of the solar surface in December 2024, the spacecraft’s speed will exceed 430,000 miles per hour (692,000 km/h)!
So if you were theoretically able to get a ride on the Parker Solar Probe and take it on a detour from its sun-centered mission to travel in a straight line to Jupiter, travel as fast as the probe reaches during the tenth (101) trip. miles per second), the time it would take to reach Jupiter would be:
- Closest approach: 42 days
- Farthest distance: 69 days
- Average distance: 51 days
Problems calculating travel times to the buyer
Of course, the problem with the previous calculations is that they measure the distance between the two planets as a straight line. If you were to travel between Earth and Jupiter when they are at a great distance between them, the trip would involve a direct path through the sun; Therefore, any spacecraft must move in orbit around the star of the solar system.
Although this is not a problem for a flight made during the closest approach of two planets, when both are on the same side of the Sun, the flight is not without complications. The pre-calculated travel times also assume that the two planets remain a constant distance; That is, when a probe is launched from Earth while the two planets are at their closest approach, Jupiter will remain at a similar distance during the time period it takes for the probe to reach the gas giant.
But in fact, the planets move at different rates as they orbit the sun. Engineers must calculate the ideal orbits to send a spacecraft from Earth to Jupiter. Like throwing a dart at a moving target from a moving craft, they must calculate where the planet will be when the spacecraft arrives, not where it will be when it leaves Earth.
It is also not feasible to travel as fast as possible if your goal is to eventually circle your target planet. The spacecraft must arrive slowly enough to be able to perform insertion maneuvers into orbit and not just glide straight past their destinations.
Engineers calculate not only the distance needed to travel, but also the fuel efficiency of each given spacecraft. Long trip use Gravity assist The slingshot maneuvers a spacecraft through planetary bodies and “steals” some of the momentum of a planet or other body to give the spacecraft a useful push toward its intended destination. NASA’s Jupiter explorer Juno conducted a near-Earth flyby two years after its launch in order to increase the speed of the spacecraft so that it could reach the gas giant, According to NASA. It will receive the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission Three helps gravity from Earth and one of Venus before you reach the Jovian neighborhood.
How long will the missions take to reach Jupiter?
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Below is a list of how long it took previous missions to reach Jupiter as well as estimated travel time for upcoming missions. Note the longer travel times for missions orbiting Jupiter (such as Galileo and Juno) compared to those launched with the aim of sailing directly.
- Pioneer 10: 642 days, or 1 year, 9 months and 2 days
- Pioneer 11: 606 days, or 1 year, 7 months and 27 days
- Voyager 1: 546 days, or 1 year and 6 months
- Voyager 2: 688 days, or 1 year, or 10 months, or 19 days
- Galileo: 2241 days, or 6 years, 1 month, and 19 days
- Ulysses: 490 days or 1 year, 4 months and 2 days
- Cassini-Huygens: 1,172 days, or 3 years, or 2 months, or 15 days
- new Horizons: 405 days or 1 year, 1 month and 9 days
- Juno: 1,796 days or 4 years and 11 months
Estimated travel time for upcoming missions:
Learn more about the missions Jupiter has ventured into with these Resources from NASA (Opens in a new tab). Explore NASA’s Juno mission in more detail here Official mission page (Opens in a new tab). What if we actually got to Jupiter? Take a look at this Article from Business Insider (Opens in a new tab) This explains what would happen if humans attempted to land on the gas giant.
Juno Earth flyby. NASA. Retrieved April 12, 2023 from https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/earthflyby.html#.ZDa0f3bMKUl (Opens in a new tab)
Hatfield, M.; (2021, November 10). Space dust presents opportunities and challenges as the Parker Solar Probe returns toward the sun. NASA. Retrieved April 12, 2023 from https://blogs.nasa.gov/parkersolarprobe/2021/11/10/space-dust-present-opportunities-challenges-as-parker-solar-probe-speeds-back-toward-the-sun/ (Opens in a new tab)
How Far is Jupiter from Earth?: Distance, How Much, How Much Time and Facts. The nine planets. (abbreviation II). Retrieved April 12, 2023 from https://nineplanets.org/questions/how-far-is-jupiter-from-earth/ (Opens in a new tab)
Joss’ trip to Jupiter. ESA. (abbreviation II). Retrieved April 12, 2023 from https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2022/12/Juice_s_journey_to_Jupiter (Opens in a new tab)
Jupiter Statistics. Jupiter Statistics: Size, Orbit, Moons, Rings, Temperature, Myths – Windows to the Universe. (abbreviation II). Retrieved April 12, 2023 from https://www.windows2universe.org/?page=%2Fjupiter%2Fstatistics.html (Opens in a new tab)
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