It could be faster than we originally believed, yet it"s a logistical nightmare.

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From our vantage point on Earth, the moon watch small. Yet if you to be to hop in a spaceship, don a spacesuit and go top top an epic lunar hike, just how long would it require to walk all the means around it?

The answer relies on myriad factors, including how quick you have the right to go, how much time every day you spend walking, and also what detours you"ll need to take to avoid dangerous topography.

Such a trip about the moon can take much longer than a year, but in reality, there are a lot much more challenges to overcome.

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A total of 12 humans have stepped foot ~ above the lunar surface, every one of whom were component of the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972, according to NASA. The footage that was beamed earlier to planet showed how an overwhelming (and, apparently, fun) it to be to go — or much more accurately, bounce — roughly in the moon"s low gravity, i beg your pardon is one-sixth the gravity of Earth.

However, research study from NASA has since said that the is possible for humans to practice much faster on the moon 보다 the Apollo astronauts did. Theoretically, walking the circumference of the moon might be done much faster than previously predicted.

Picking up the pace

During the Apollo missions, astronauts bounced about the surface at a casual 1.4 mph (2.2 km/h), follow to NASA. This slow speed to be mainly due to their clunky, pressurized spacesuits that were no designed v mobility in mind. If the "moonwalkers" had actually sported sleeker suits, they can have discovered it a lot easier to move and, as a result, choose up the pace.

In 2014, a NASA study released in the journal of experimental Biology tested how rapid humans can walk and run in simulated lunar gravity. To carry out this, the team got eight attendees (three the which to be astronauts) to usage a treadmill onboard a DC-9 aircraft, i beg your pardon flew one-of-a-kind parabolic trajectories on earth to simulate heaviness on the moon for approximately 20 secs at a time.

This experiment revealed the the participants to be able to walk as much as 3.1 mph (5 km/h) prior to breaking into a run. This is no only more than double the go speed regulated by the Apollo astronauts however also reasonably close to the 4.5 mph (7.2 km/h) typical maximum walking speed on Earth, follow to the researchers.

The entrants pulled off these fast speeds since they to be able to openly swing your arms, comparable to just how humans operation on Earth. This pendulum motion developed a downward force, which partly compensated because that a absence of gravity. One of the factors the Apollo astronauts were so slow-moving on the lunar surface was due to the fact that they couldn"t do this correctly due their chunky suits.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

At this new hypothetical max speed, it would certainly take around 91 days to walk the 6,786-mile (10,921 km) one of the moon. Because that context, it would certainly take approximately 334 days come walk nonstop (i.e., not protecting against to sleep or eat) approximately the 24,901-mile (40,075 km) one of earth at this speed, although it is difficult to do so since of the oceans.

Obviously, it"s not possible to walk nonstop for 91 days, for this reason the yes, really walk approximately the moon would take much longer.

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Planning her route

Walking about the moon additionally poses a variety of different challenges. "I think logistically, it could be done," Aidan Cowley, a clinical adviser at the European room Agency, told Live Science. "But it would certainly be a very strange mission come support."

One of the biggest challenges would be moving supplies, such together water, food and also oxygen.

"I don"t think you"d be carrying them in your backpack," Cowley said. "Because that"d be far too lot mass even, even if you"re at one-sixth gravity."

Therefore, girlfriend would require to have a support car with you, Cowley said. This automobile could also double as shelter.

"A most the agencies room looking right into the principle of having a pressurized rover, which can actually assistance the astronauts once they"re doing exploration missions, kind of favor portable mini-bases," Cowley said. "You could use the to go in at night and also resupply and also then go back out during the day and walk roughly again."

Moon adventurers would likewise need a spacesuit with a design that enables for optimal movement. Present spacesuits are still not produced with excessive locomotion in mind, however some organ are emerging form-fitting suits the will enable for the eight swing crucial to walk properly on the moon, Cowley said.

The moon"s harsh topography would additionally make detect a perfect route about it fairly tricky, particularly with meteor craters that have the right to be number of miles deep. "You would really desire to go around ," Cowley said. "It"s just too dangerous."

You would also have to aspect in light and temperature once planning the route. "At the equator , and during the day, you"re feather at temperatures at around 100 degrees centigrade <212 degrees Fahrenheit>," Cowley said. "And then at nighttime, the drops to choose minus 180 C ."

The lunar cycle also method there space days when there is little or no sunlight, and at least fifty percent the trip would have to be done in the dark. Offering protection versus these excessive temperatures can be possible with specially designed suits and also the rover because that protection, yet the temperatures might also adjust the state of regolith — a good gray soil the covers the moon"s solid radical — and affect how rapid you might walk ~ above it, Cowley said.

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This 1972 photoshowsscientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, the lunar module pilot on Apollo 17, experimenting the moon with his adjustable sampling scoop. (Image credit: NASA/JSC)

However, radiation might pose an even greater danger. Unequal Earth, the moon go not have a magnetic field that helps deflect radiation from reaching its surface.

"If there to be no significant solar task at a time, climate it might not it is in so bad," Cowley said. "But if there was a solar flare or coronal ejection and you"re struggle by high level of radiation, that can make friend very, really sick." (Solar flares and coronal mass ejections both release huge amounts that energy and magnetized particles, yet differ in the varieties of particles they emit, the term of the event and the method the radiation they create travels with space, according to NASA.)

This form of mission would additionally require a huge amount of endurance training since of the demands of working out in low gravity on your muscles and cardiovascular system. "You"d need to send one astronaut through ultra-marathon-level fitness to execute it," Cowley said.

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Even then, walking at a optimal speed would be feasible only for about three to 4 hours a day, Cowley said. So, if a human walked in ~ 3.1 mph (5 km/h) because that 4 hrs a day, climate it would take an approximated 547 days, or virtually 1.5 year to go the moon"s circumference, presume your course isn"t too disrupted by craters and also you can deal with the temperature changes and also radiation.

However, human beings won"t have actually the modern technology or equipment to accomplish such a feat till at the very least the late 2030s or early 2040s, Cowley said.

"You"d never obtain an agency to assistance anything prefer this," Cowley said. "But if some crazy billionaire wants to shot it, perhaps they can pull that off."

Originally published on Live Science.

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Harry is a U.K.-based employee writer in ~ Live Science. He studied maritime Biology at the college of Exeter (Penryn campus) and after graduating started his own blog site "Marine Madness," i beg your pardon he proceeds to run with other ocean enthusiasts. He is also interested in evolution, climate change, robots, room exploration, environmental conservation and also anything that"s been fossilized. When not at occupational he can be discovered watching sci-fi films, playing old Pokemon games or running (probably slower than he"d like).