Approaching the Moon at five times the speed of sound.
It’s a journey of 384,400 km. A rocket takes four days to fly from the Earth to the Moon. Someone who drives a car an average of 15,000 km per year would take over 25 years to cover the same distance.
PTScientists have been preparing for their mission to the Moon for eight years. Eight years of meticulous planning and calculations to land a rover safely on the Moon and conduct research. But even when the goal is nearly within reach, as the landing module carrying the two rovers races toward the Moon, there is still so much that can go wrong. The spacecraft will be travelling at over 6,000 km per hour – around five times the speed of sound(airliners normally travels at around 800 km per hour).
“Hundreds of thousands of kilometers are waiting to be crossed, full of harsh darkness, the intense radiation of the sun and extreme temperature changes.”
Will the retrorockets deliver exactly as much thrust as they were designed to? Will the trajectory not deviate even a centimeter from its precisely calculated ellipses?
Bottom line: the challenge of completing all the phases of a mission to the Moon successfully is roughly comparable to balancing a tray full of glasses of water in your hands as you run barefoot over hot coals—without spilling even a drop.
It can only be done by pressing boldly forward and keeping a cool head.