I read that the communication delay between earth and mars is between 3 and 21 minutes.

So the delay changes over time (since the distance between earth and mars changes over time).

How can I get the delay at the current moment, or another specified moment in time?


1 Answer 1


Download the Nasa's Eyes program, and use the "measure distance" option (rightclick on an object), to find its distance to another object. The distance in light seconds/minutes is the signal travel time.

The advantage over WolframAlpha is that you can easily set the time and check the distance for any arbitrary date; W.A. takes some tricky work to force it to give anything else than 'now'.

  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, thanks for the answer! Is there a way to get this value programmatically, by an api/module/plugin (preferably Python)? $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Jul 26, 2016 at 12:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Kevin SPICE is the set of APIs that powers NASA's Eyes. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Jul 26, 2016 at 14:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.