• Question: how long would it take us to travel to jupiter

    Asked by rmkearney to Arlene, Colin, David, Eugene, Paul on 15 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: David McKeown

      David McKeown answered on 15 Nov 2012:

      Depends how fast you are travelling and what point the Jupiters is in its orbit. When it is closest to the earth Jupiter is 628,743,036 million km away, but 928,081,020 million km when it is furtherest away.
      So a long time!!

    • Photo: Colin Johnston

      Colin Johnston answered on 15 Nov 2012:

      It is a hard question to answer as missions use different launch vehicles (rockets) and take different trajectories. Here are some jouney times of historical Jupiter missions.
      Pioneer 10 launched March 1972, flew by Jupiter January 1974
      Pioneer 11 launched April 1973, flew by Jupiter January 1975
      Voyager 2 launched August 1977, flew by Jupiter August 1979
      Voyager 1 launched September 1977, flew by Jupiter April 1979
      Galileo launched October 1989, arrived at Jupiter in December 1995 (took long way via Venus and Earth)
      Cassini launched October 1997, flew by Jupiter December 2000
      New Horizons launched January 2006, flew by Jupiter February 2007 (fastest spacecraft ever)

    • Photo: Paul Higgins

      Paul Higgins answered on 18 Nov 2012:

      Good to see New Horizons got there faster. Means we are getting better. As far away as jupiter is, it is still not very far away when compared to the size of the whole solar system… Try the planetary walk at Armagh observatory, and you will get an idea!