How Long Does It Take to Get to Space: A Step-by-Step Guide to Space Travel


For those interested in space travel, one of the most common questions is: how long does it take to get to space? The answer isn’t as simple as one might think, as it involves several different factors, including astronaut training, spacecraft preparation, liftoff, and journey time to the International Space Station (ISS) or other destinations.

In this article, we’ll explore the different steps involved in space travel, compare the time it takes using different methods, hear insights from an astronaut, and learn about the science behind space travel. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career as an astronaut or simply curious about space exploration, this article has something for you.

Write a Step-by-Step Guide

Before astronauts can even think about traveling into space, they must undergo extensive training to prepare both their bodies and minds for the journey. Astronaut training includes physical exercise, as well as learning how to operate spacecraft and handle any potential emergencies.

Once they’re physically and mentally prepared, the spacecraft must be prepared for liftoff. This includes everything from fueling up the rocket to ensuring that all systems are functioning properly.

Finally, the spacecraft is ready for liftoff, which typically takes just a few minutes. After liftoff, it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours to reach orbit, depending on the destination.

The journey from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS) typically takes about 6 hours if using a Soyuz spacecraft, or 19 hours if using a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. For other destinations, such as the Moon or Mars, the journey time can range from several days to several months depending on the method of transportation.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an astronaut, it’s important to know that it takes years of preparation and dedication to get to this point. In addition to physical exercise and spacecraft training, astronauts must also complete advanced education in fields such as science, engineering, or medicine.

Interview an Astronaut

We had the privilege of interviewing astronaut Mark Kelly, who has spent over 50 days in space on multiple missions. When asked about how long it takes to get to space, he explained, “Liftoff is really intense, but once you’re in orbit it’s a much smoother ride. It takes about six hours to reach the ISS from liftoff, so the journey isn’t as long as you might think.”

He also shared some advice for those interested in pursuing a career as an astronaut, saying, “It’s important to have a strong foundation in STEM education and to be willing to take on challenges. It’s not an easy job, but it’s incredibly rewarding.”

Compare Different Methods of Space Travel

Currently, the most common method of space travel is using rockets, which are capable of producing enough thrust to escape Earth’s gravity and reach orbit. However, using rockets can be expensive and may pose safety risks, as evidenced by recent incidents such as the explosion of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Another method of space travel that’s being explored is the use of space shuttles. These spacecraft are designed to launch like a rocket, but are able to glide back to Earth like a plane. While considered more cost-effective and safer than rockets, space shuttles have their own risks, as evidenced by the Challenger and Columbia disasters in the 1980s and 2000s.

Finally, there’s the idea of a space elevator, which would use a cable that stretches from Earth’s surface to space. Although this concept has been explored for over a century, it has yet to be successfully implemented due to technological challenges and safety concerns.

Each method of space travel has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to scientists and engineers to continue exploring new technologies to make space travel more efficient and safe.

Describe a Day in the Life of an Astronaut

What’s it like to be an astronaut who has reached space? According to NASA, a typical day for an astronaut involves a carefully planned schedule of research, exercise, and maintenance tasks.

After waking up and eating breakfast, astronauts spend several hours conducting experiments and collecting data that will help scientists understand more about living in space. They also spend time communicating with experts on Earth to discuss their findings and collaborate on future research.

Exercise is an important part of an astronaut’s daily routine, as it helps them maintain their physical health and counteract the effects of living in a zero gravity environment. Astronauts typically spend about 2 hours a day exercising.

Finally, astronauts spend time on maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the space station or repairing equipment. It’s a full day, but one that’s filled with important work and the thrill of being in space.

Explain the Science Behind Space Travel

Space travel is based on fundamental scientific principles, including Newton’s laws of motion and Einstein’s theory of relativity. In order to understand how spacecraft get to space and move around once they’re there, it’s important to have a basic understanding of these principles.

Additionally, advances in technology have allowed scientists and engineers to develop new methods of propulsion and new materials for spacecraft construction. For example, the use of ion engines instead of traditional rocket propulsion is being explored as a more efficient and cost-effective way to travel to space.


There’s no simple answer to the question of how long it takes to get to space, as it depends on the method of travel and the destination. However, understanding the different steps involved in space travel and the science behind it can provide a deeper appreciation for this incredible human achievement.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in space travel, the advice from astronaut Mark Kelly highlights the importance of education, dedication, and a willingness to take on challenges. Whatever your interest in space exploration, there’s no doubt that continued advancements in technology will bring us closer to unlocking the mysteries of the universe.

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