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How Long Does It Take to Get to the Moon?

Based on past missions, we know that it usually takes about three days for a manned spacecraft to reach the moon when the average distance from Earth to the moon is 240,000 miles (386,243 kilometers). This translates to a spacecraft’s speed of about 3,333 mph (5,364 kph).

Yet, the duration isn’t always set in stone. Some uncrewed missions, in a bid to be more fuel efficient, might move a lot slower. For instance, China’s Chang’e missions took around four to five days.

But, want to hear something astonishing? The 1959 Luna 1, launched by a powerful rocket, made its journey to the moon in just 36 hours, traveling at a speed of about 6,500 mph (10,500 kph). However, it failed to land on the moon’s surface.

The Luna 2, which launched only a few months later, not only succeeded in becoming the first spacecraft to land on the moon, but it also made the trip in 34 hours. And let’s not forget the 2006 New Horizons, which breezed past the moon in a mere eight and a half hours en route to Pluto, reaching speeds of up to 36,373 mph (58,536 kph).

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