If you’re like most people who are at least a bit curious about space exploration, surely you’ve wondered when it will be possible for humanity to travel to other planets in spaceships, as we’ve all seen in sci-fi movies like those from the Star Wars series. It may come as a surprise for many to find out that no human has laid foot on another planet so far, but the good news is that space agencies struggle to find out how it can be done.
What could be so difficult as landing on another planet? Well, it is! That’s because planets are very far away from us, tens of times farther away than the Moon is. If we take planet Mars, for instance, we need to keep in mind that the average distance separating it from our planet is 225 million kilometers. That’s about 585 times the distance that separates our planet from the Moon, the space object where humanity landed for the last time in 1972 during NASA’s Apollo 17 mission.
Exoplanets are even farther away from us than planets are
Exoplanets, on the other hand, are much farther away from us than the planets of our Solar System are. In other words, we can forget about leaving the Solar System in a human-crewed spaceship, at least for the near future. Landing on Mars or on any other rocky object in our Solar System sounds like a much more feasible scenario. But yet again, nobody knows exactly how we could land on Mars, either!
Mars remains an unlikely destination
Space agencies and Elon Musk are confident that humanity will land on Mars in the near future. However, such a space mission poses several strong hindrances. First of all, a rocket on a mission to the Red Planet needs a lot of fuel. Gathering all that fuel can be a challenge. Second, nobody knows for sure how the human body would react on another planet, even if it’s being protected by a spacesuit.
There’s not enough oxygen on Mars, and the radiation from the Sun can be deadly, just to say the least. That’s no possible home for humans, although astronomers hope to be able to terraform the Red Planet someday. Such an ambitious project would last centuries.
How advanced is human technology at the moment?
Although human technology is still not as far as we may like to believe, both NASA and SpaceX have some pretty amazing rockets. They are capable of traveling very fast throughout space, not to mention that these space agencies constantly try to make them faster and better. Space exploration is a “must,” and NASA and SpaceX seem to do their best. Although we can’t reach other planets yet, that shouldn’t discourage us from establishing ambitious goals.
The fact is that there are only four rocky planets out there because, as we said, exoplanets are out of the picture since they’re way too far away. We have Mercury, Venus, Mars, and, of course, Earth. Venus and Mercury are way too hot to handle, which means that we can only hope to land on Mars one day. At this point, NASA prepares to launch the Artemis mission to the Moon in 2025, and if everything goes well, Mars will be the next destination. Hopefully, humans will land on Mars by the end of the decade due to NASA’s plans.
Therefore, the only logical and sad conclusion is that traveling to another planet is impossible for the moment. But even so, humanity shouldn’t give up hope and keep looking for answers and ways of improving things. Let’s not forget that a century ago, nobody could have believed that humanity would lay foot on the Moon and that the Voyager 1 space probe would reach interstellar space. In a similar matter, humanity might land on another planet.
Tommy’s hobby has always been playing video games. He enjoys competing in video games tournaments and writing about his experience. It’s not a big surprise that he mostly covers the latest trends from the gaming industry.