Weekend Trip to Alpha Centauri

It's the future and everyone's taking the kids to Alpha Centauri at the weekend. But you need to plan the trip, just how long is it going to take?

The F40 has a top speed of 210mph, but that's on Earth isn't it? In space there isn't such a thing as wind resistance, so what's to limit the Ferrari's speed? Let's agree on a top speed of a tenth the speed of light. Also without significant drag (the road is made of umm.. TeflonĀ®) what's to slow its rate of acceleration (if we forget gear ratios for a second)?

So lets stop messing about and do some calculations..


Time to c/10 /s: 5.96E+06

Time to stop /s: 1.39E+06

Acceleration Distance /m: 1.79E+14

Braking Distance /m: 4.18E+13

Cruising Distance /m: 4.05E+16

Cruising Time /s: 1.35E+09

Total Time /s: 1.36E+09

Human Readable Format

Time to c/10 /days: 69

Time to stop /days: 16.1

Acceleration Distance /earth diameters: 14,003,417

Braking Distance /earth diameters: 3,275,043

Cruising Distance /earth diameters: 3,171,832,993

Cruising Time /years: 42.8

Total Time /years: 43

Various Constants

Acceleration (0-60mph) /s: 5.3

60mph /(m/s): 26.66666667

Acceleration /(m/ss): 5.03144654

Stopping Distance /ft: 122

Stopping Distance /m: 37.18605218

Deceleration Rate /(m/ss): 21.51344262

Speed of Light (c) /(m/s): 3E+08

c/10 /(m/s): 3E+07

Distance to Alpha Centauri /lightyears: 4.3

m/lightyear: 9.5E+15

Distance to Alpha Centauri /m: 4.07E+16

Earth Diameter /km: 12,756

s/year: 3.2E+07

If you have any questions, please contact me. I really look forward to hearing from you!