The Parker Solar Probe is orbiting the sun. As it whips around in its highly elliptical orbit it speeds up as it approaches the sun and slows down as it veers away. In the year 2025 NASA scientists expect the spacecraft to achieve 690,000 km/h (430,000 mph), or 0.064% the speed of light.

This will be the fastest spacecraft we have ever launched.

It’s important to note, however, that it gets that fast as it falls toward the sun. Any spacecraft leaving the solar system will be going much slower.

But for fun, let’s say we could leave our solar system at that speed and head toward Proxima Centauri. How long would that take?

Proxima Centauri is approximately 4.2 light years from us. Traveling at 0.064% the speed of light would get you there in only 65 years and 9 months.

In reality, with our present technology, to send an object like that toward Proxima Centauri it would be going less than 1/3 of that speed, or over 197 years to reach there.