View Full Version : Speed record

2003-Oct-15, 04:51 PM
I want to know (if it's possible) the maximum speed reached in space by a manmade object (satellite, spacecraft or interplanetary vehicle). I think Helios 2 is the owner of the record with 241,350 Km.p.h. but that's only 0.022% of the speed of light. Is there anyone faster?

2003-Oct-16, 07:46 AM
Speaking of Helios 2, according to Guiness World Records (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/), Helios 2 has another record: it came within 43.5 million km (27 million miles) of the sun, which is the closest approach to the sun. According to the same site, the Helios probes reached 252,800 km/h (158,000 mph), but I'm not sure how accurate that number is, now when we have two different speeds here? Either way it's pretty fast by our standards, yet incredibly slow for an interstellar mission...

2003-Oct-16, 03:28 PM
Thanks for your info Parker.
Yes, we have two different speeds. And if you read this:

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/space...ft/q0109c.shtml (http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/spacecraft/q0109c.shtml)

we have three different speeds, when Aaron Brown said:

"The maximum speed of Helios 2, which achieved its perihelion distance of 0.29 AU on 17 April 1976, is quoted as about 150,000 mph (241,350 km/h). By applying some simple equations of orbital mechanics, we can confirm that such an orbit would indeed result in a perihelion velocity of 153,800 mph (247,510 km/h). For comparison, the aphelion speed of Helios 2 turns out to be only 45,360 mph (72,985 km/h) at its farthest distance of 0.983 AU. This massive differential between the vehicle's maximum and minimum speeds graphically illustrates how much an elliptical orbit varies from the circular orbit discussed earlier"

I take the achieved speed, and yes, you're right when you say:

"it's pretty fast by our standards, yet incredibly slow for an interstellar mission..."

Thank you again.