We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Farthest Distance a Human Has Ever Been from Earth?

Michael Anissimov
By
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The farthest a human being has ever been from Earth was during the Apollo 13 mission, when Americans James Lovell, Fred Haise, John Swigert passed over the far, or "dark" side of the Moon at an altitude of 158 miles (254 km) from the lunar surface. This works out to approximately 400,171 km (248,655 miles) from earth. This record was achieved at 0:21 UTC on April 15, 1970. The record has stood for almost four decades, and seems unlikely to be surpassed before 2020, when both Japan and the United States are scheduled to return to the Moon. For comparison, the distance between New York and Tokyo is 10,878 km (6,760 miles).

The record was achieved when the mission's original objective, to land two men at the Fra Mauro Highlands on the near side of the Moon, was scrubbed due to an oxygen tank explosion. Instead of landing, the craft was sent into a free return trajectory, using the Moon's gravity as a slingshot to return to Earth. Normally this would have been a simple procedure, but a significant course correction was required, and due to the explosion, ground operators didn't want to risk firing the main engine. So, the lunar module's descent engine was used instead.

All the manned Moon missions involved one person of the three-person team staying in lunar orbit while the other two visited the surface. The orbital period was about two hours, and the altitude ranged between about four and a hundred miles. Therefore, at least several people came close to matching the distance from Earth record set by the crew of Apollo 13.

There are no plans for a manned mission to the Moon until 2020, when both the USA and Japan plan to make a visit. The exact specs of these missions are currently unknown, so we don't know for sure whether they'll break the record for furthest person from Earth.

Past 2020, the possibility of a Mars mission is open. If successful, this would shatter the distance record for a human from Earth by a factor of at least 100.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Anissimov
By Michael Anissimov , Writer
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism to his articles. An avid blogger, Michael is deeply passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. His professional experience includes work with the Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Lifeboat Foundation, further showcasing his commitment to scientific advancement.

Discussion Comments

By anon235058 — On Dec 15, 2011

I believe that the reason Apollo 13 traveled the furthest from the Earth was primarily because it passed around the Moon only about six hours before the Moon's apogee (farthest distance in its elliptical orbit around the Earth). That added an order of magnitude greater distance than the unusually high free return orbital pass resulting from the emergency return path. The Apollo missions next closest to the Moon's apogee (10 and 15) were about 40 hours difference.

By SilentBlue — On Feb 24, 2011

Today, we tend to be able to more readily understand and see the big picture due to satellite technologies and software like google earth. The world is changing and distances are being bridged. Perhaps someday soon we will see astronauts going to Mars and experiencing new distances that are unthinkable to the modern mind.

By hangugeo112 — On Feb 22, 2011

I can't imagine how horrifying it must have been to fly so far away from the earth and not know if you were going to be completely lost in space. The trauma associated with this kind of experience must have been immense, and the relief upon landing safely on earth as heroes was probably incomparable.

Michael Anissimov

Michael Anissimov

Writer

Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology...
Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.