Closest distance between two points

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Closest distance between two points. . . is a straight line. . . and so they say. Well it is correct though. But, getting between two neighboring planets is more that asking how close they are. It’s also a question of when would that gap close enough for efficient space travel.

NASA’s Apollo program was the most ambitious and daring mission human kind have. Every time I hear about current and future space programs, I always get back to JFK famous quote when he stood in front of a crowd of 40,000 at Rice University in Texas on September 12, 1962.

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

John F. Kennedy

Why I’m saying this?

I’m saying that space travel is HARD. Yes, and JFK was referring with going to the moon at that time. Presently, with NASA Mars Exploration Mission, it’s even harder. The closest gap between Earth and Moon is at 363 THOUSAND km. While, Mars is approximately 34 MILLION km. Managing the launch to escape Earth is daunting. Traversing million km of space is even more challenging. Let alone the maneuver to place a man-made craft in Mars orbit.

I’m not going to take us into a space geek path. But, let me show a diagram on how a Trans-Mars injection should be and just imagine the technology we are putting on every mission to put a Mars Rover to the red planet.

A trans-Mars injection (TMI) is a heliocentric orbit in which a propulsive maneuver is used to set a spacecraft on a trajectory, also known as Mars transfer orbit, which will place it as far as Mars’s orbit.

Here’s another thing to point out though. Earth and Mars orbits are not a perfect circle(they are Elliptical – egg shaped). Even adds to the challenge, they are slightly tilted to each other. —Mars close to Earth

The window of opportunity

Strike while the iron is hot. Could be. But, getting an iron to melt comes more often that Earth Mars comes close. A rare instance and happens every two years. That’s why a number of space agencies are currently on pace with its Mars missions. By far 2020 is the busies Earth – Mars route. Other that the NASA(US) we have. . .

Emirates Mars Mission. Launch in July 19, 2020 atop H-IIA Rocket at Tanegashima, LP-1. An orbiter mission to study Mars weather patterns.

Tianwen – 1 of the China National Space Administration(CNSA). By far, the most daring, Mars 2020 mission. Attempting to send 3 part missions. An Orbiter, lander and rover in a single launch.

China’s launch was a week early that the NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. A space race, it look’s like. But, I don’t think that’s the case. This is the perfect time to launch this programs into the Mars. It’s a have to. For, the next opportunity would be in 2022.

How can we take advantage of the rare opportunity?

It seems that major space agencies are enjoying the race to the red planet. As an Earthling, is it possible to have a glimpse of our nearest neighbor? Of course, we can. . . The space faring nations will get there toys and probably touch done the surface. For us, we can take advantage of seeing Mars up close at a distance. Ironic it may sound. But, this is a perfect window for us take a peek at Mars. In a lens of course.

Mars in our night sky courtesy of https://mars.nasa.gov/all-about-mars/night-sky/close-approach/

Telescopes for seeing Mars

Here are some options for your up close encounter with the Red planet. You can choose from this two. For beginner and hobbyist accordingly. Now available in Amazon.

Celestron – 70mm Travel Scope – Portable Refractor Telescope – Fully-Coated Glass Optics – Ideal Telescope for Beginners – BONUS Astronomy Software Package

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope

Percy is still on it’s early phase of journey to Mars. He may be travelling alone. But, our hope of him seeing on the surface of Mars is our contribution in this exciting days of space travel. Thank your for reading, leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Subscribe to get notified to future articles. Patronize the products I’ve mentioned and it will a lot in keeping this site running.

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