if a ship say the U.S.S Enterprise were to travel to Mars for a mission or something how long would it take? Minutes?Hours?.is there an estimate as to how long space voyages usually take in Star Trek?

  • from Earth of course – Fingolfin Jan 26 '16 at 1:31
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    "of course"? ... Why should we assume that? Most of the time, they're traveling between galaxies... going between two planets in a single galaxy is a really short distance. – Catija Jan 26 '16 at 1:43
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    @Catija - At no point in any of the Trek series' do they travel between galaxies. They just mooch around in a very small part of the Milky way, mostly. – Valorum Jan 26 '16 at 1:49
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    @Richard Yeah, I was getting a bit big... I meant to say solar systems... though they do leave the Milky Way in TNG in "Where No One Has Gone Before"... Though, admittedly, they had some help in that case. – Catija Jan 26 '16 at 1:49

The Enterprise D's maximum speed is warp 9.8. This is equivalent to around 1,015,313,576,887mph

Given that Mars is typically around 249,000,000 miles from the Earth, that means that the Enterprise could (if they were monumentally stupid enough to do an in-system warp jump) reach Mars in substantially less than one second.

That all being said, the fastest we ever see a ship traveling at sublight speeds is half-impulse (half the speed of light). That means that a realistic journey would be around 10 minutes, depending on the amount of time it takes to get your luggage through security.

  • even at warp 1 the trip would only take between 3 and 22 minutes – KutuluMike Jan 26 '16 at 1:35
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    @MikeEdenfield - Pfft. Warp 1 is for losers. Pedal to the metal, Mr Crusher. Engage!! – Valorum Jan 26 '16 at 1:36
  • I don't have a copy handy at the moment, but IIRC the ST Technical manual actually has a table of speed->time taken to reach the moon. Might be interesting to ratio that out a bit and see if it corresponds... – Jon Clements Jan 26 '16 at 1:43
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    WARP FACTOR 9.6: 1.28 trillion mph / 1,909 x speed of light / Earth to moon: 0.000704502 seconds / Across solar system: 21 seconds / Between 2 nearby stars: 23 hours / Across 1 sector: 4 days / Across Federation: 5 years / Across entire galaxy: 52 years / To nearby galaxy: 1,048 years / Notes: maximum rated speed can be maintained for 12 hours" – Valorum Jan 26 '16 at 1:48

Due to revisions to the warp speed scale over the decades of Star Trek production, this would vary at maximum speeds. There is, however, a general agreement that Warp 1 is equal to the speed of light, and for our purposes, that is fast enough.

At their closest, Earth and Mars are 225 million kilometers apart, which is equal to 12.5 light minutes, making the journey from Earth to Mars, if a straight line course was possible, twelve and a half minutes at Warp 1. At their furthest, they are 22.3 light minutes apart, leading to a journey something in excess of 23 minutes apart; a direct course is impossible at that point, as the sun lies along a straight line between Earth and Mars at that point.

Complicating factors include: limitations (inconsistently expressed on screen) to use of Warp Drive within a solar system, likelihood of traffic throughout the solar system, the need to avoid collision en route, and the fact that no on-screen version of The Enterprise has been limited to Warp 1. As Richard points out, at maximum warp, the journey would be nearly instantaneous.

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