How many Earth years did it take the rocket from Krypton bearing the infant Kal-El to reach Earth?

  • 8
    In which continuity? The 4 film series', the 10+ comic origin stories or the 6 TV series?
    – Valorum
    Jul 12, 2015 at 17:31

7 Answers 7


The references below all appear to base their info on the first Christopher Reeves movie.

According to this link, the flight took two years.

However, according to this link and this link, the flight took three years. Don't know if one Wiki derived it's info from the other or if they both independently derived info from the movie. Unfortunately, I don't have copy of the movie to check it out myself.

One thing I seem to recall from the move is the image of Jor-El (when his image first appears in the fortress of solitude) tell Kal-El (Superman) that thousands of years would have passed on Krypton. If that's a reasonably accurate memory, would imply that the 2-3 flight time years experienced by the infant Kal-El were either a time-dilated measure or that Kal-El passed through some type of wormhole where the two ends were in different times. But that's pure speculation on my part.


At the speed of light, the length of time experienced by the baby would be a couple of years, but outside of the ship, where the time dilation does not occur, 20,000 years or more would have passed.

So, it took 20,000 years or so to reach Earth, but the baby only aged 2 years in the time protected ship.

I recall an origin story where Jor El and Lara are discussing Earth and Jor El mentioned that by the time Kal reached the planet, its inhabitants will have evolved into organized societies.

  • 3
    Where are you getting the factor of 20,000? At the speed of light, time dilation would be infinite...
    – Hypnosifl
    Nov 24, 2015 at 3:21

This answer is based on the Superman radio serial episodes available at the Internet Archive.

In episode 1 (February 12, 1940) we learn that the planet Krypton is in our solar system

Narrator: "As our story begins, we ask you to come with us on a far journey, a journey that takes us millions of miles from the Earth where the planet Krypton burns like a green star in the endless heaven."

and in fact is a Counter-Earth:

Jor-El: "A planet smaller than our own, situated on the other side of the sun."

From this one would expect that the journey would take some months, at most a couple of years. However, in episode 2 (February 14, 1940) we learn that it took much longer than that, something like 20 years if we assume that Kryptonians grow up at about the same rate as Earth people:

Narrator: "During the long journey of the rocket ship to the Earth, the child has become a man. The rocket landed in a [???]. Superman stepped forth full grown to explore this strange new world in which he found himself."

  • "In our solar system" ... when I was a kid, watching the Superman TV series, my mom told me about the origin story for Superman. Either she said it, or I just got the impression: the current asteroid belt of our solar system is the remnant of that lost planet.
    – GEdgar
    Jul 1, 2017 at 13:59
  • A counter earth is possibly the only good explanation for so much Kryptonite landing here. Jul 1, 2017 at 16:37

Hypothetically 200000 passed by Planet Krypton's timepassing standards inside its area, but the timepassing flight lasted about 3-2 years which means that the flight tranportation which carried Superman traveled somehow faster than speed of light theoretically creating a wormhole according to my thoughts. So, it made Superman arrive at modern Planet Earth.

  • 6
    What are you basing any of these numbers on? Is this sourced in any comics or movie?
    – phantom42
    Aug 6, 2013 at 16:37

Lex Luthor stated in the first movie, that it took the ship three years to reach Earth.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. This answer is correct, but you could improve it by editing it to include an exact quote, which you could copy and paste from an online script. To further improve this answer, you could also add a video clip from YouTube; I believe there is one of this specific scene. Jan 20, 2022 at 6:59

Well obviously it took 2 years because by then if he been on that thing for 3 years he could probably talk. Plus it said in the ultimate guide that he was an infant not a toddler


In 'Man of Steel' with Henry Cavill, humans find Zod buried in ice nearly 20,000 years old. Also, in the movie Zod is sentenced to Somatic Reconditioning soon after "Superman" is sent away like a baby Moses on a cosmic river. So yeah, there would have to be some worm-hole time-loop going on if it only took 2-3 years for Kal-El to get to Earth.

  • I don't understand you. Can you not use short forms? Jul 12, 2015 at 16:37
  • 1
    Humans found a seed ship. They did not find Zod in "Man of Steel", Zod came to Earth in response to Clark activating the ship
    – user001
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:12

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