The Thought of Space Travel!

May 16, 2011 at 11:44 PM (Uncategorized)

The fascinating subject of outer space once again dominates the evening thought setting.  I was watching The Science Channel, which presented a program about space probes collecting information from the planets within our solar system.  Spectacular images were displayed, showing some of our planets, as well as our magnificent Sun.

I went online, then I came across a site that delved into details regarding space travel.  The nearest star system is Alpha Centauri, which is a trinary star system.  I have read postings that say this system is between 4.2 light years and 4.37 light years away from us.  That is between twenty-five trillion miles and twenty-six trillion miles away!  Don’t bother…

Yet, as a society that has some fascination with what exists beyond our Earth, the topic of space travel inevitably will arise.  Obviously, reaching the worlds within our own solar system must come first.  Mars has long-stood as the first world to be examined beyond our own, and getting there will be a major part of that task. 

If it ever becomes possible for humanity to travel beyond the solar system, the first star system to be visited may likely be Gliese 581.  This is the nearest star system to our own that may have a habitable world.  It is at a fluctuating distance of 4.2 light years to 4.37 light years.  That is an estimated range of between 24, 690,226, 567, 371.2 miles and 25,689,592,880,812.4 miles.  As that is quite a journey, humanity will have to up it’s game significantly in regards to the capacity for space travel!

Reading some information online does give details about how long a trip to Mars would take.  A method called the Hohman transfer orbit is introduced, bringing into view the concept of reaching our fourth planet during the proper times of planetary alignment.   Mars orbits The Sun at a rate of 1.9 Earth years, so it needs to be in the correct position in order for any Earth-originating craft to reach the fourth world.    

Scientists and space travel enthusiasts have assisted with deducing that a trip to and from Mars can be achieved within a twenty-one month window.  It would take nine months to leave Earth, then to reach Mars.  Travellers would have to remain there for three months.  A return trip would need to occur when the window of alignment is open again, precisely after the three month stay.  Getting back to Earth would take another nine months.

Going to Mars is important because it will be a primary stepping stone in any future capacity for human space travel.  Provided that we will again be able to return to our own moon, the trip to Mars will be important because it’s occurrence will legitimize our ability to travel within the realm of outer space.  The moon will be the first step because it likely will serve as a station for any space-faring vessels that we will be using for trips to Mars, or to any location beyond!






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