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How Long Does It Take To Get To Venus?

What is the distance between Earth and Venus?

The distance between Earth and Venus changes regularly due to their elliptical orbits around the Sun. The two planets are approximately 162 million miles apart at their most significant distance. The closest and farthest distances between Earth and Venus can wax and wane over time, with Venus usually being 257 million kilometers away. However, the closest distance between Earth and Venus occurs in inferior conjunction at the thinnest part of their orbits, approximately 41 million km (September 26, 2023). This close approach between Earth and Venus occurs every 584 days, and Mercury is closer to Earth most of the time than Venus. From the point of view of the location of the solar system planets, Venus is the closest planet to Earth.

What is the flight time to Venus?

The United States and Russia used spacecraft to fly to the planet. The flight to Venus usually took 3-6 months. Mariner-2, USA, made the first successful flight to Venus. This spacecraft was launched on August 8, 1962, and made a successful flyby of the planet on December 14, 1962. The flight to it took 110 days from the moment of launch to arrival at the planet. The last spacecraft launched to the planet was ESA’s Venus Express. It was launched on November 9, 2005, and reached it in 153 days.

Venus Express has been in orbit around Venus since April 2006. It is the sister ship to the equally successful Mars Express. Together, they made major contributions to understanding how Earth-like planets work. Credit: ESA / AOES Medialab

The ships moved at an average speed of 8 to 25 kilometers per second.

The Japanese Akatsuki, launched in 2010, took more time to reach Venus because it had specific difficulties with maneuvers. It is currently operating in the orbit of the planet.

For example, the speed of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft can reach up to 700,000 kilometers per hour (about 430,000 miles per hour). It reached Venus just 52 hours after launch on August 12, 2018.

Two future NASA missions to Venus, DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, are being prepared.

How long will it take them to cover the distance to the planet?

Banner image: ESA
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