How Long Does It Take To Travel To The Moon?

about 3 days It takes about 3 days for a spacecraft to reach the Moon. During that time a spacecraft travels at least 240,000 miles (386,400 kilometers) which is the distance between Earth and the Moon. The specific distance depends on the specific path chosen.

How long does it take a human to get to the Moon?

Shining brightly overhead most nights, we often take the moon for granted. Our nearest celestial neighbor and satellite has a lot more impact in our lives than we realize though, helping affect the tides, animal sleep cycles (including humans!), and hormones.

It has also long inspired us to look up and reach beyond the atmosphere of our own planet; that’s part of why President John F. Kennedy set his sights and NASA’s mission objective on the moon in the 1960s.

So far, American astronauts have made nine journeys to the moon – six of which landed on the lunar surface. Based on this data, we now have a good idea about how long it takes to get to the moon. NASA, other governments, and other private companies are now planning crewed missions back to the moon and will give us even more data about how long it takes to reach the moon.

  1. Like other orbiting bodies in space, the moon’s orbit is not exactly circular; it is elliptical
  2. This means that the moon is closer to Earth at some times and further than others – that’s why we keep hearing about «supermoons» when the moon is closer

(The point of orbit when the moon is closest to Earth is called perigee; the point of orbit when it is furthest away from Earth is called apogee). Taking advantage of orbital mechanics, astrophysicists can plan lunar missions to coincide when those times that the moon is closer to Earth.

Historically, most lunar missions have taken about three days to reach the moon, assuming the moon is at an ideal distance of 240,000 miles (386,243 kilometers) away. This means astronauts travel roughly 3,333 mph (5,364 kph) on their journey to the moon.

Some uncrewed missions have taken longer in an attempt to save on fuel weight (such as China’s Chang’e missions which have taken four to five days each). The fastest-ever mission to the moon was the very first one: 1959’s unmanned Luna 1 took just 36 hours at a speed of roughly 6,500 mph (10,500 kph).

How long is a trip to space?

Short answer: A few minutes. Long answer: The semi-official «start of space» is 100 km above sea level. This is called the Kármán line. Most rockets get to this point within a few minutes of launch, but it takes longer to reach their final orbit (or other destination). Here are a couple of examples:

  • Space Shuttle: Kármán line in 2½ minutes, orbit in 8½ minutes.
  • SpaceX Falcon Heavy: Kármán line in 3½ minutes.


  • It can take anywhere from 6 hours to 3 days to get to the International Space Station, depending on the spacecraft and mission profile.
  • It took the Apollo astronauts about three days to get to the Moon. Although the Moon is much farther away than the ISS, the Apollo spacecraft travelled more directly and quickly.


How long does it take to travel to Mars?

This shows an artist’s concept animation of the Perseverance cruise stage cruising to Mars. DISTANCE TRAVELED Loading. Loading. miles / km DISTANCE REMAINING Loading. Loading. miles / km The cruise phase begins after the spacecraft separates from the rocket, soon after launch. The spacecraft departs Earth at a speed of about 24,600 mph (about 39,600 kph).

The trip to Mars will take about seven months and about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers). During that journey, engineers have several opportunities to adjust the spacecraft’s flight path, to make sure its speed and direction are best for arrival at Jezero Crater on Mars.

The first tweak to the spacecraft’s flight path happens about 15 days after launch.

What planet takes 7 years to get to?

FAQ — Spacecraft

Spacecraft Target Time
Messenger Mercury 6. 5 years
Cassini Saturn 7 years
Voyager 1 & 2 Jupiter; Saturn; Uranus; Neptune 13,23 months; 3,4 years; 8. 5 years; 12 years
New Horizons Pluto 9. 5 years


Is the flag still on the Moon?

Images taken by a Nasa spacecraft show that the American flags planted in the Moon’s soil by Apollo astronauts are mostly still standing. The photos from Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter (LRO) show the flags are still casting shadows — except the one planted during the Apollo 11 mission.

How much do astronauts get paid?

Civilian — The pay grades for civilian astronaut candidates are set by federal government pay scales and vary based on academic achievements and experience. According to NASA, civilian astronaut salaries range from $104,898 to $161,141 per year. Here are a few of the benefits offered to civilian astronauts:

  • Health care
  • Travel
  • Paid holidays
  • Challenging and interesting work
  • State-of-the-art training facilities
  • Paid leave


Who owns the Moon?

How Long Does It Take To Travel To The Moon Valentyn Volkov/Shutterstock Here on Earth, we’re used to the idea of land ownership. A piece of land belongs to someone, whether that’s an individual, a company, or a state, and the owner has rights over what is done with that land. But what about the Moon? Who owns that? The short answer is that no one owns the Moon. That’s because of a piece of international law.

  • The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, put forward by the United Nations, says that space belongs to no one country
  • «The exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies,» it reads (via UN), «shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind

» This specifically includes the Moon, with the treaty going on to say that, «Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind. » This means that legally speaking, no country can claim to own the Moon.

How cold is Mars?

— Mars is the last planet of the inner four terrestrial planets in the solar system at an average distance of 141 million miles from our Sun. It revolves around the Sun every 687 days and rotates every 24. 6 hours (nearly the same as Earth). Mars has two tiny satellites, named Deimos and Phobos (shown below). They are  most likely small asteroids drawn into Mars’ gravitational pull. Deimos and Phobos have diameters of just 7 miles and 14 miles, respectively.   Atmosphere and Weather:  The Martian atmosphere is composed primarily of carbon dioxide. However unlike Venus, the Mars atmosphere is very thin, subjecting the planet to a bombardment of cosmic rays and producing very little greenhouse effect. Mariner 4, which flew by Mars on July 14, 1965, found that Mars has an atmospheric pressure of only 1 to 2 percent of the Earth’s.

An interesting side note; the inner moon, Phobos, makes a revolution around Mars in slightly more than seven hours. This means since it orbits Mars faster than the planet rotates, the satellite rises in the west and sets in the east if observed from the Martian surface.

Temperatures on Mars average about -81 degrees F. However, temperatures range from around -220 degrees F. in the wintertime at the poles, to +70 degrees F. over the lower latitudes in the summer. Various probes over the past few decades have found the surface of Mars to be rather desert like.

A fascinating panoramic view of the martian surface was taken (picture below) in 1997 by the Pathfinder mission. The surface is cratered, but not as much as our Moon or Mercury. The craters have probably been weather worn over the years by fierce windstorms, some of which can cover the entire planet.

These windstorms are common on the red planet, lifting rust-colored dust well up into the atmosphere encircling the entire globe. Mars’ red color comes from its reddish rock, sand and soil which encompasses about 5/8 of the surface. The rest of Mars has patches of green.

But it is not clear what is producing this green color as it certainly is not vegetation. Evidence does exist in the terrain that water has eroded some of the soil. No flowing water is present today, but NASA announced on March 2, 2004 that the two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity confirmed liquid water once flowed on Mars.

In addition, a NASA research team in 1984 found a meteorite in Antarctica which may have come from Mars. The meteorite was dated back 4. 5 billion years and some evidence of microscopic life was left in the rock. At present, Mars’ water appears to be trapped in its polar ice caps and possibly below the surface. Although water in Mars’ atmosphere is only about 1/1000th of the Earth’s, enough water vapor exists that thin, wispy clouds are formed in the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere as well as around mountain peaks. No precipitation falls however. At the Viking II Lander site, frost covered the ground each winter. Seasons do exist on Mars, as the planet tilts on its axis about 25 degrees. White caps of water ice and carbon dioxide ice shrink and grow with the progression of winter and summer at the poles.

Because of Mars’ very low atmospheric pressure, any water that tried to exist on the surface would quickly boil away. Evidence of climatic cycles exists, as water ice is formed in layers with dust between them.

In addition, features near the south pole may have been produced by glaciers which are no longer present. Mars does have many terrain features similar to Earth, such as canals, canyons, mountains and volcanoes. Mars has a prominent volcano named Olympus Mons, which stands 69,800 feet above the Martian surface.

How long will it take to go to Pluto?

In which we marvel at just how profound it is that NASA’s New Horizons is set to pass the icy dwarf planet. Given the relatively small size of our planet in terms of cosmic things, our earthling brains can have a hard time grasping really long distances.

  1. The almost 25,000 miles around the planet, that makes sense
  2. That the moon, on average, is 238,855 miles away
  3. this isn’t too hard to fathom
  4. But when we start inching our way out into the solar system, it starts to get a bit profound
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Take Pluto. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is set to swoop by Pluto this month, which is (on average) 39 Astronomical Units (AU) away. An AU is the distance by which astronomers measure distances; it’s based on the distance between the Earth and our big star, about 93 million miles.

Which puts Pluto at a distance of 3. 7 billion miles away. Honestly, even a billion is hard to get one’s mind around. Yes, it’s one thousand millions, but what’s that like in more practical concepts? A billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was going strong.

A billion hours ago, the Stone Age was doing its thing. So, 3. 7 billion miles. How can we relate to that kind of mileage? Adam Frank at NPR asked the same question and decided to calculate it in terms that most of us are familiar with: driving. Using the simplest calculation – a straight line from Earth to Pluto, ignoring the motion of each planet, and driving at a steady 65 miles per hour – he figured it would take.

6,293 years. «Of course, a 6,293-year-long road trip is not something you want to try with little kids. The asteroid belt is nothing but tourist traps and the rest stops really thin out after Saturn,» Frank writes, so he also gives up the calculation were we to fly by Boeing 777.

With a maximum velocity of 590 miles per hour, the trip to Pluto will only take about 680 years. Which really puts things into perspective when considering just how wild it is that we have a spacecraft about to reach Destination Pluto. Launched in January of 2006, it now travels at more than 50,000 miles per hour.

Why does it take 7 months to get to Mars?

The problems with calculating travel times to Mars — Of course, the problem with the previous calculations is that they measure the distance between the two planets as a straight line. Traveling through the farthest passing of Earth and Mars would involve a trip directly through the sun, while spacecraft must of necessity move in orbit around the solar system’s star.

Although this isn’t a problem for the closest approach, when the planets are on the same side of the sun, another problem exists. The numbers also assume that the two planets remain at a constant distance; that is, when a probe is launched from Earth while the two planets are at the closest approach, Mars would remain the same distance away over the 39 days it took the probe to travel.

Related: A brief history of Mars missionsIn reality, however, the planets are continuously moving in their orbits around the sun. Engineers must calculate the ideal orbits for sending a spacecraft from Earth to Mars. Their numbers factor in not only distance but also fuel efficiency.

Like throwing a dart at a moving target, they must calculate where the planet will be when the spacecraft arrives, not where it is when it leaves Earth. Spaceships must also decelerate to enter orbit around a new planet to avoid overshooting it.

How long it takes to reach Mars depends on where in their orbits the two planets lie when a mission is launched. It also depends on the technological developments of propulsion systems. According to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s website, the ideal lineup for a launch to Mars would get you to the planet in roughly nine months.

  • The website quotes physics professor Craig C
  • Patten (opens in new tab), of the University of California, San Diego:»It takes the Earth one year to orbit the sun and it takes Mars about 1
  • 9 years (say 2 years for easy calculation) to orbit the sun

The elliptical orbit which carries you from Earth to Mars is longer than Earth’s orbit but shorter than Mars’ orbit. Accordingly, we can estimate the time it would take to complete this orbit by averaging the lengths of Earth’s orbit and Mars’ orbit. Therefore, it would take about one and a half years to complete the elliptical orbit.

«In the nine months it takes to get to Mars, Mars moves a considerable distance around in its orbit, about three-eighths of the way around the sun. You have to plan to make sure that by the time you reach the distance of Mar’s orbit, Mars is where you need it to be! Practically, this means that you can only begin your trip when Earth and Mars are properly lined up.

This only happens every 26 months. That is, there is only one launch window every 26 months. «The trip could be shortened by burning more fuel — a process not ideal with today’s technology, Patten said. Evolving technology can help to shorten the flight. NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will be the new workhorse for carrying upcoming missions, and potentially humans, to the red planet.

  • SLS is currently being constructed and tested, with NASA now targeting a launch in March or April 2022 for its Artemis 1 flight, the first flight of its SLS rocket
  • Robotic spacecraft could one day make the trip in only three days

Photon propulsion would rely on a powerful laser to accelerate spacecraft to velocities approaching the speed of light. Philip Lubin, a physics professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his team are working on the Directed Energy Propulsion for Interstellar Exploration (DEEP-IN).

  • The method could propel a 220-lb
  • (100 kilograms) robotic spacecraft to Mars in only three days, he said
  • «There are recent advances which take this from science fiction to science reality,» Lubin said at the 2015 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) fall symposium

«There’s no known reason why we cannot do this.

Is Mars a one way trip?

From more than 200,000 people who hoped to leave Earth and die on Mars, only 660 remain in the running. They now face a more stringent astronaut selection process. Those who make the final cut earn a seat on the Mars One mission, a one-way trip to the red planet.

  1. How will the astronauts be selected?The next round involves more filmed interviews and group challenges to see how well people work together
  2. The final selection round will follow the candidates as they cope with living in harsh, remote mocked-up Mars habitats

At the end of the process, Mars One wants six groups of four astronauts to train for the mission. How will Mars One pay for the mission?The Dutch not-for-profit organisation is raising money any way it can. That means broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals, crowd-funding, donations from philanthropists, and licensing intellectual property rights from inventions made along the way.

The first mission, costing $6bn (£4bn), aims to send a spacecraft carrying two men and two women to the planet. What do they need to do?It’s all quite complicated. The first humans are not scheduled to blast off for Mars until 2024.

But plenty of missions are planned beforehand to do vital groundwork. In 2018, a lander would be sent to the planet as a trial-run for technologies that the real mission will need. That will be accompanied by a communications satellite to beam messages back and forth.

  1. In 2020, an «intelligent» rover is sent to Mars, along with a trailer
  2. The rover’s job is to scope out a good landing site, far enough north for the soil to contain a good amount of water, but equatorial enough to get plenty of sunlight

Two years after that, in 2022, six cargo missions head off for Mars. They include another rover, two living units and two life support units. These land near the first rover, which tows them into position and sets up solar panels to power the units. The life support unit is meant to produce a breathable atmosphere in the habitat, 3,000 litres of water, and 120kg of oxygen kept in storage. Mars One chief executive, Bas Lansdorp, left, announces the launch of astronaut selection for a Mars space mission project, in New York. Mars One is a non-profit organisation that aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty ImagesHow will the astronauts get to Mars?Mars One will contract a rocket manufacturer to build them a rocket. That could be Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, or another company.

In 2024, they will blast the crew’s landing module and their main living quarters for the voyage into Earth’s orbit and dock them together. The crew then launch into Earth orbit themselves, climb into the waiting Mars spacecraft, and head off for their destination.

How do they land?The Mars lander module detaches from the spacecraft and descends to the surface. Once down, the crew in their Mars suits are picked up by one of the rovers and taken to the habitat. It will take them a good while to acclimatise to the gravity on Mars.

Their first tasks are to deploy more solar panels, and start their efforts to grow food on Mars. When do they get fresh company?The second Mars One crew is planned for take off in 2026, for arrival the following year.

Their own habitats and life-support units are meant to land within weeks of the first crew arriving. To protect the astronauts from the harsh radiation on Mars, the rovers will pile Martian soil on top of the habitats..

How old would I be on Mars if I was 12?

Enter your age in the box above, then click the CALCULATE button to see how old you’d be on the planet Mars. A year on Mars is longer than a year on Earth—almost twice as long at 687 days. This is roughly 1. 88 times the length of a year on Earth, so to calculate your age on Mars we simply have to divide your Earth age by 1. See also:

  • Questions about Mars
  • Information about Mars
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What is the oldest planet?

Jupiter formed in a geologic blink. Its rocky core coalesced less than a million years after the beginning of our solar system, scientists reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Within another 2 million or 3 million years, that core grew to 50 times the mass of Earth.

  1. Scientists have previously built computer models of the birth of Jupiter
  2. But this study «is the first time that we can say something about Jupiter based on measurements done in the lab,» said study co-author Thomas S

Kruijer, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. To probe the planet’s creation, experts sampled extraterrestrial material that happens to land on Earth — ancient meteorites. Our solar system began as a disk of dust and gas 4.

  • 6 billion years ago
  • Of the planets, first came the gas giants, followed by the rock-and-metal terrestrial worlds like Earth
  • Jupiter is the biggest of the brood
  • Despite being mostly gas by bulk, it’s more than 300 times the mass of Earth

For that reason astronomers suspect the planet was the oldest, able to scoop up more material out of the disk before its younger siblings appeared. The new study supports the idea of a firstborn Jupiter. When Jupiter formed, the growing planet swept up a great swath of gas and dust as it circled the sun.

What’s more, it acted as a barrier to shield the inner solar system from wayward meteorites. When the solar system was about 1 million years old, Jupiter’s gravity was strong enough to prevent rocks from crossing beyond its orbit, like a club bouncer who forces latecomers to wait on the sidewalk.

«At about 1 million years you have Jupiter getting big enough to cut off the inner solar system from the outer solar system,» said Brown University’s Brandon Johnson, a planetary scientist who was not involved with the new research. Then, when the solar system was around 4 million years old, Jupiter grew to about 50 Earth masses and headed toward the sun.

  1. This lowered the bouncer’s velvet rope, allowing the outer asteroids to mix with the inner rocks
  2. Today, they’re jumbled together in a single belt, which exists between Jupiter and Mars
  3. Rocks from this mixture land on Earth, where scientists like Kruijer can study them

The new study adds evidence to the idea that Jupiter temporarily split the population of meteorites in the solar system in two: those between Jupiter and the sun, and those beyond Jupiter. If a pair of inner and outer space rocks landed in your front yard, and you picked them up after they cooled down and the dust settled, you wouldn’t be able to spot a difference.

But Kruijer and his colleagues can measure specific chemical signatures in meteorites — which reveal not only the rocks’ age but which of the two groups they once belonged to. It was only recently that technological advances allowed scientists to measure the differences in the two, Kruijer said.

The meteorite groups separated around 1 million years after the solar system formed, and stayed apart until about 4 million years post-formation, according to the new analysis. Crucially, the two populations existed simultaneously for a few million years.

«It cannot be a temporal change. It must be a spatial separation,» Kruijer said. Something must have kept them apart. The most likely culprit, the authors of the study say, is a young Jupiter. «It’s hard to think of any other possibility,» he said.

«This is interesting work and presents an interesting result, which conforms well with our existing understanding,» said Konstantin Batygin, a planetary astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology who was not involved with the research. «It may very well be what had happened.

  1. «Planetary scientists are like detectives, Batygin said, scouring a scene for hints about what transpired
  2. «In a crime scene it’s the little splatters of blood on the ceiling,» he said, «that will tell you more than the dismembered limbs

» (In this analogy the planets are the chopped limbs and the meteorites the bloody spray. ) But, as with hunting for murder clues, he added, «there’s always room for doubt with these types of problems. «It might be that the structure of the early disk kept the meteorite groups isolated, said Kevin Walsh, an astronomer at Southwest Research Institute in Colorado who was not involved with this work.

«The key point the authors make is that Jupiter must form to keep these asteroid reservoirs separate while they form,» he said in an email. «It is possible that we have a naive understanding of the way asteroid building blocks could move in an early Solar System, and that a Jupiter mass planet isn’t necessary.

«But such an early Jupiter jibes with other ideas about the early solar system. One concept, called the grand tack hypothesis, casts Jupiter as a wanderer. In the grand tack hypothesis, first proposed by Walsh and other scientists in 2011, Jupiter began to barrel toward the center of the solar system.

That was, until Saturn formed, pulling Jupiter backward. (This pendulous wrecking-ball motion could be responsible for, among other things, the mixing of the meteorite groups into one belt. )And it’s likely that this young and massive Jupiter is responsible for a small Earth with a thin atmosphere.

«We occupy a somewhat strange world, galactically speaking,» Batygin said. Earth, which formed about 100 million years after the solar nebula, lacked the gravity for a thick «nasty hydrogen helium atmosphere» found on other worlds. Thank Jupiter for sucking up most of that material.

  • Exoplanet hunters looking at other star systems have found several super-Earths, planets larger than Earth but smaller than gas giants like Neptune
  • Few exoplanets are as small as two Earths and exist in the habitable zone of their star

Kruijer speculated that the young Jupiter is the reason our solar system does not have any super-Earths close to our star. In this light Jupiter is a pillar of the solar system. «Even in its infancy, Jupiter really controlled the dynamics and evolution of the solar system,» Johnson said.

How is 1 hour in space equal to 7 years on Earth?

«My films are always held to a weirdly high standard,» filmmaker Christopher Nolan told The Daily Beast. It is, however, a high compliment for a blockbuster space odyssey like Interstellar to earn the right to be analyzed on a scientific level; after all, films like Star Wars and Star Trek are never held up to such scrutiny.

  1. Nolan’s Interstellar invites scientific critiques via the participation of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who not only served as a script advisor and executive producer on the film, but also released a companion tome, The Science of Interstellar, explaining the heady concepts employed in the movie

For the uninitiated, the film is set on a future Earth whose crops (save corn) have been wiped out by a mysterious blight. A farmer and ex-astronaut, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), is tasked with leading a NASA mission through a wormhole to another galaxy in order to investigate three potentially inhabitable planets for colonization.

  1. The first planet they land on is close to a supermassive black hole, dubbed Gargantuan, whose gravitational pull causes massive waves on the planet that toss their spacecraft about
  2. Its proximity to the black hole also causes an extreme time dilation, where one hour on the distant planet equals 7 years on Earth

On the second planet, they encounter a marooned astronaut named Dr. Mann, and a fistfight ensues. And the rest, well, I’ll leave that to you to see for yourself. To wrap our heads around the science of Interstellar, The Daily Beast reached out to renowned astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who also serves as the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and host of the Fox series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, to help break down many of the hotly debated scenes in the film.

On Twitter, you praised the way Interstellar handled Einstein’s Relativity of Time and Curvature of Space. No other film has given as much attention to these topics, and done it so thoroughly. What I should have mentioned is that in the original Planet of the Apes, there’s an Einsteinian time-shift where the Earth astronauts move very far into the future, so Earth went way past the age of humans while they were still themselves.

That wasn’t a running premise of the movie, whereas in Interstellar, there’s a constant reminder that the Relativity of Time is a phenomenon to be reckoned with, thought about, and resolved. And the chalkboards in the film with the field equations are legit.

Someone put thought into it. It’s the same with the TV series The Big Bang Theory. When they show the chalkboard, it’s always relevant to the theme of that particular show. In The Guardian, Dr. Roberto Trotta, a senior lecturer in astrophysics at Imperial College London, pointed out that the «retro rockets» on their spaceship, Endurance, were too small since you’d need «a lot of fuel» to make their galactic voyage.

Well, a couple of things. I’m a fan of Mark Twain for many reasons, and very high on the list is, «First get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure. » If they have a ship, and it’s obviously a ship we don’t have today, and this movie obviously takes place in the future, and this ship is obviously more advanced than anything we have or have dreamt up, and they have to get through a wormhole, they don’t have to just use engines to get across the galaxy.

I’m OK with that. They’re in a ship, it’s in the future, so get over it and move on! I’d also add that if you’re traveling long distances and know which direction you’re headed, you don’t use fuel to get there.

You use fuel to give you the proper velocity and direction, and then you turn off your fuel tanks and coast there. That’s how we got to the moon—there was the launch to get us into orbit, and then the TLI (trans-lunar injection) got us out of earth’s orbit and to the moon.

You also seem to be fond of the way the film treated gravity—as opposed to your reservations about the film Gravity. They clearly gave attention to the circumstances under which they were in zero-g, or transitioning to 1 g with the rotating space platform that they used.

It’s not different from what they did in 2001, where they spent a lot of attention on how you would transition from zero-g to 1 g. Because they spend so much attention, it gives you the right to find places where they might have messed up. In 2001, there’s a point in zero-g where he’s sipping liquid through a straw, and then he pulls his lips from the straw and liquid sinks back down the straw into the container—which wouldn’t happen in zero-g. Can there actually be massive tidal waves like the one we saw on the first planet they visited?Initially, I thought, «OK, they have to throw in a wave… that looks gratuitous. » My second thought was, «Well, if it’s a tsunami, the wave actually needs water to be the wave, and they would see the water rush from around their ankles to feed this wave as it came by. » That’s how you know to run. In this, I would later figure out that both of those concerns were unfounded.

  • And Gravity got so much right that it earned the right to have us point out what had been overlooked, which I think is a high compliment
  • The planet is deep in the gravitational well of a black hole, and the black hole would surely have very high tidal forces
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Also, a «tidal wave» is misnamed—it’s actually a «bulge» of water fixed in space. The bulge is always oriented in the same configuration in space, so you on the solid planet rotate in and out of that bulge. You interpret it as a wave coming towards you and away from you, but what actually happens is you’re rotating from a high tide part of the water to a low tide part of the water.

  1. The fact that the waves came every hour or so meant that the planet rotates once ever two of those—because you have two high tides for every rotation
  2. If I were to say that there was something unrealistic about that, it was how spiky the wave was

A tidal bulge would be smoother than that, and they would just rise up, float over the top, and rise back down the way a duck floats up and down as a wave goes under it. This is where they’re taking dramatic liberties to turn the wave into something more menacing, and I don’t have a problem with that.

The time dilation on that planet—one hour equals 7 Earth years—seems extreme. To get that, you’d apparently need to be at the event horizon of a black hole. Yes. You can calculate where you must be to have that level of time dilation, and it’s extreme.

Here’s another case of, «First get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure. » The straight facts are you’re in the vicinity of a black hole and time goes more slowly, then you mess with that to create dramatic elements for the storytelling.

I don’t have a problem with that. In Titanic, when I criticized the night sky it was because there was no night sky at all—it wasn’t even a real night sky, so that failed my Mark Twain criteria. Would Endurance even be able to fly that close to a supermassive black hole without being disintegrated by the force of it?There’s a regular black hole, which is the end state of a high-mass star, which is a relatively small, planet-sized black hole.

Then, you have supermassive black holes that are in the center of galaxies and are huge—typically the size of entire solar systems. If you don’t want to be ripped apart by the tidal forces of a black hole, you’d need to move in and around a supermassive black hole, because the larger a black hole is, the shallower the tidal forces.

  1. So, a supermassive black hole would have very shallow tidal forces and likely would not rip you apart if you came near it or descended past the event horizon
  2. It’s the stellar mass black holes that would rip you apart if you got too close

In this case, it’s also the stellar mass black holes that would raise the tide so high on the planet. This is where you take some cinematic liberties—you want the drama of the wave, and you get that on a lower black hole, but you want to survive the experience for having been near it.

  • So, there are some liberties taken there
  • What did you think of the fistfight sequence between Cooper and Mann on the second planet?Well, I would’ve thought they were smart enough, mature enough, and emotioned enough that the likelihood of a fistfight on a distant planet would be extremely remote

We know guys get in fights, but most guys most of the time do not get into fights, so you’d think that being a distant planet would be one of those cases where you do not get into a fight. It’s not like on Star Wars in the bar scene where it breaks into a gunfight where Han shot first. They also probably wouldn’t need to send people down to the planets, would they? Couldn’t they just send telescopes or robots?Well, I thought they had originally sent robots and that was a conversation that was held? I’m not trying to make excuses for the film, but as I understood it, they did not know which planet they would go to until they came out on the other side of the wormhole, and that’s not a decision a robot could make because you’re not communicating with the robot through the wormhole. So, humans had to be there to make that judgment once they got across and got the extra data. Can Cooper actually float through a black hole in his spacesuit, like he does in the film? Would he be destroyed by gamma radiation?It’s likely that most black holes have no accompanying radiation coming out of them.

You’re on a freaking planet! I thought it was gratuitous and I’m not sure what it contributed to the plot, but I didn’t really understand the plot. You’d need someone to write another book for that. The ones we see have extraordinary spiraling gas working its way down to the center of the abyss, and you see those when it’s a black hole that has a companion star that’s getting flayed by the source of gravity, and typically, when the companion star swells up to become a red giant and overfills its Roche lobe, which is an envelope around a star beyond which if any of its material drifts past that envelope, its susceptible to falling somewhere else within that orbiting system.

So, only when you have spiraling matter down do you get these ferocious, black hole jets. But a star that becomes a black hole all by itself? There’s no reason to think anything harmful would be in its vicinity at all. So he could float through it entirely.

The trick would be to go through a black hole and somehow emerge through a wormhole that’s been established that we don’t know how to make, or sustain. That’s where the science «fiction» comes in. How about the way the film treated the fifth dimension?Oh, it was awesome.

If you go to a higher dimension than our own, it’s entirely allowed to suppose that you have access to your time dimension. Right now, we have access to our three spatial dimensions, so you can occupy any position within your three-dimensional spatial coordinates at any time.

In time, we are prisoners of the present forever prevented from accessing our past, or our future. If you go to a higher dimension, its not unrealistic to imagine that your entire timeline would be laid out in front of you no differently than the way our space dimensions are laid out in front of us now, so that you can occupy any point from birth to death in your own timeline.

In the tesseract as they call it, which is just a higher-dimensional space system—the tesseract actually has a very specific meaning mathematically, but ever since the Thor films and The Avengers series, «tesseract» is any access you’re going to have to a higher dimension and I’m fine with that.

It’s a fresh word to most members of the public, so why not give it a fresh definition? So, he has access to his entire timeline, and it was up to the visualizers to visualize it in some way that it might be.

Every direction he looked, time continued infinitely in that direction—and every direction. Every place he floated was that corridor. It would take you a pretty long time to relay a quantum equation to save the planet via Morse Code, though. Yeah. One issue I had was that he must have known his library really well to be able to identify the first letters of the names of each book from the back—from the page side, rather than the binding side—to be able to poke the books out.

That showed extraordinary memory, and I don’t know any one of us who’d have that talent. And if he can control matter in that dimension, just write down, «Hey, it’s Dad here—I’ve traveled back in time and tell me to not go the hell on this trip!» If he does have access through his daughter’s room through this tesseract, do more than shove books off the shelves.

Heck, write a book and put it on the shelf!.
How Long Does It Take To Travel To The Moon

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