(ORDO NEWS) — An article published on the arXiv preprint server claims that humanity will have the necessary technology to send humans to Jupiter by 2100, and to Saturn by 2130.
Based on projected timelines for manned flights beyond Mars, the researchers predicted that humans would be able to travel to Jupiter and Saturn in about 2,100 and 30 years, respectively.
Despite significant challenges, deep space exploration represents humanity’s greatest chance to expand and deepen its understanding of the universe.
In the future, unmanned flights will be followed by flights with a human crew to more and more extensive objects. Human exploration of deep space remains one of the main national goals for the leading space powers.
In line with historical NASA budget dynamics and general trends in deep space exploration, a study published on the arXiv preprint server developed an improved model that predicts the earliest possible launch dates for manned missions to Jupiter and Saturn.
To calculate the level of technology needed to carry out these missions, the authors use a model based on the number of papers published in a given year on deep space exploration. The study showed an exponential increase in the number of articles over time, peaking recently at almost 2,000 per year.
This combination of linear and exponential relationships leads to an equation that can be solved by connecting the points of distance and time from the start of the space race, the first manned landing on the Moon (1969), and the (still hypothetical) first manned landing on Mars, expected as early as 2038 year.
According to forecasts, the first human flights to the asteroid belt and the Jupiter system may occur between 2071 and 2087 and 2101 and 2121 respectively, while the launch to the Saturn system is possible by 2132, with an indefinite interval between 2129 and 2153.
NASA’s Pioneer 10 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to travel from Earth to Jupiter. It launched on March 3, 1972 and reached the gas giant on December 3, 1973.
This is a total of 640 flight days.
However, it is interesting to note that Pioneer 10 passed by on its way to explore the outer solar system. During its approach to Jupiter, the probe took the first-ever close-up photographs of the planet, and then, more than 11 years later, disappeared into deep space, losing contact with NASA.
The Pioneer 11 mission launched a year after Pioneer 10. In 606 days of travel, the probe flew much closer to Jupiter, passing at a distance of 21,000 kilometers from the planet, and even visited Saturn.
The next spacecraft to go into deep space was Voyager. Voyager 1 arrived on March 5, 1979 after a flight of 546 days. Voyager 2 arrived on March 1, 1978 after 688 days of travel.
So if you want to go to Saturn and Jupiter, given our current technological capabilities, it would take humanity 500 to 600 days to reach the gas giants.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest speed achieved by a spacecraft was 163 kilometers per second (586,800 mph; 364,660 mph), which was reached by the Parker Solar Probe at 21:25:24 UTC on November 20, 2021 .
During perihelion, the probe achieved this speed thanks to assistance from the Venus flyby on October 16, which compacted its orbit.
As a result, it passed at a distance of 8,541,744 km (5,307,594 miles) from the surface of the Sun. The record will last until the 17th perihelion of the Parker Solar Probe, which is scheduled for September 27, 2023.
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