We are all astronauts on Spaceship Earth.

Earth might not be made by us but it is still the biggest spaceship we have. It would be interesting to calculate how far we have actually travelled through space on the planet Earth.

I guess this would be a combination how long humans have been around and how fast is our galaxy travelling. Earth is just rotating around the sun, so that’s kind of going in circles. So any travelling through space we do via our galaxy. Although our galaxy is probably also rotating around something, that is, also going in circles. But let’s ignore that!

Apparently our galaxy is travelling at 200 km per second, which is equivalent to 720,000 km/h.

Humans have probably been on the planet for about 50,000 years, give or take. There are about 8765.812536 hours in a year (taking a typical year).

So that all becomes the following:

            720,000.0   km/hour
  x           8,765.812 hours/year
  x          50,000.0   years
    315569251296000 km

So 315,569,251,296,000 kilometers or about 316 trillion kilometers.

Which comes to a total of 33.35 light-years.

Humankind has travelled through 33 light-years of space since it began taking those first tentative steps on Spaceship Earth and here’s to a further 33!


The term Spaceship Earth is older than I thought, turns out first used around 1879.

By coincident Buckminster Fuller used the term in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. Coincident because he also coined the term ephemeralization, which is a favourite of mine.