Space; it really is the final frontier. So many aspire to travel into the great unknown, yet so few have ever even made it outside of earth’s atmosphere. And, only a handful of them has ever stepped foot onto another celestial body. 2012 marked 40 years since any human has stepped foot on the moon, but we’ve been talking about colonizing Mars ever since. SpaceX hopes to make that a reality with the first manned mission happening as soon as 2022. Elon Musk is obviously very ambitious to make it happen, which is why you’re about to watch a video that demonstrates just how we’ll make that first flight.
It takes a rocket or shuttle about 8.5 minutes to leave this floating rock and in that time it must reach an orbital speed of 17,500 mph. Now, if you have a need for speed, going to space will certainly quench your manly thirst. – After all, according to SpaceX, it takes 28,700,000 pounds of thrust. But, getting into space is just the beginning. The biggest hurdle is taking enough fuel with us to leave the earth and get to the big red planet. Being 33.9-million miles away when properly aligned (or as much as 249 million miles at their farthest points,) a full tank of gas just isn’t going to cut it.
So, how do we do it? Well, SpaceX will start out by sending up the shuttle full of the first people destined to land on the red rock and put it into orbit around the earth. The rocket that hauled them up there will land, refuel, and be fitted with a shuttle tanker. That tanker is then launched into space where it will meet up with the first shuttle and fill it up with the fuel it needs to make it all the way to Mars. Once the shuttle fills up (remember, there are no gas stations in space), it will take off toward our far away neighbor before the tanker shuttle even makes it back to earth.
Once the shuttle is on its way, massive solar arrays will deploy from the rear of the shuttle that will produce 200 kW of power from our life-giving star. On the way to Mars, the shuttle will coast along at 63,634 mph. If you do the math, at 63,634 mph, it will take approximately 532.73 hours or just over 22 days, assuming Mars and Earth are at their closest point. With that said, go ahead and click play to watch the video or keep reading to learn a little more.
The Low Down
It’s a pretty wild thought, but at less than a month of travel, it almost seems feasible that travelling to mars could become a big thing in the next 100 years. Considering it is now believed that Mars once held water and could have numerous resources hidden below the surface, Mars could very well be our next home. Musk even has the heavily ambitious idea of warming up the planet, which could ultimately lead to the planet have an oxygen rich atmosphere and water on the surface just like the Earth. Of course, this kind of transformation of that big red rock will be the ultimate challenge, but humans are very hearty and innovative. Those of us that are alive now will probably never see it, but give it hundreds of years and our direct decedents could end up being born and becoming Citizens of Mars instead of Earth. Now that’s wild.
There’s a lot about Mars that’s different than earth, but part of that is what makes it so fun. Think about this. The force of gravity is much less there – about 65-percent less – which means moving around will be easier, you’ll weigh less, and will have seemingly superhuman strength compared to here on earth. Overall Mar’s has a smaller diameter than Earth, and it gets much colder there, but, the length of a day is almost the same as is the overall land mass. At one point, Mars could have been very much like earth, and someday it may very well be again if Elon Musk has his way.
|Diameter||7,926 miles||4,220 miles|
|AVG distance from the sun||93,000,000 miles||142,000,000 miles|
|Temperature||-126F to 138F||-285F to 88F|
|Force of gravity||100LB||38LB|
|Day length||24 Hrs||24 Hrs 40 Min|
|Land mass||148.9 million km2||144.8 Million km2|