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Merc Boyan - Headshot

#MarsWalk: 100 km

Posted by Merc Boyan

06-01-2016 7:03 CST

Topics: Planetary Society Projects, fun, Planetary Society People, Mars

Making my way downtown! Walking fast—okay, not that fast. I’ve traveled just over 100 kilometers since starting my virtual journey from the Viking 2 lander to the Curiosity rover. That leaves just a few thousand to go. Along the way I’ve had a few slightly sore muscles and some tired feet, but nothing too bad. On Earth, I’ve been walking mostly on sidewalks with an occasional trail hike to spice things up. However, on Mars I would have been walking on harsher terrain. Rocks, sand, uneven paths, and of course no air would make this trip a lot more difficult if I were really on Mars. So, let’s see where I am!

#MarsWalk: 100 km

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Merc Boyan

#MarsWalk: 100 km

The crater closest to me is the lovely Evpatoriya. It’s a nice little crater, about one kilometer in diameter. If I were on Mars I probably wouldn’t be able to see it. It’s about 20 km off to my left. About the same distance on my right is the crater Baykonyr. This one is a bit bigger with its almost 4 km diameter. One thing is certain so far, I’m glad that I’m typing these names and not trying to say them out loud. I’d be butchering the pronunciation.

As I head onward towards the Gale Crater and Curiosity, I’ll check back in from time to time and tell you a little about the Martian sights surrounding me. For now, I better get back to walking! Comedian Steven Wright once said, “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”

#MarsWalk: 2880 km

Merc Boyan
 Date  Kilometers Walked  Total
12/23/2015 2 79
12/24/2015 4 83
12/25/2015  2 85 
12/26/2015  0 85 
12/27/2015 88 
12/28/2015 1 89 
12/29/2015 1 90 
12/30/2015 0 90 
12/31/2015 7 97 
01/01/2016 5 102 
01/02/2016 2 104 
See other posts from January 2016


Or read more blog entries about: Planetary Society Projects, fun, Planetary Society People, Mars


Rich: 01/09/2016 07:05 CST

I'm walking too! But, question: Google Earth (using View >> Explore >> Mars) tells me the distance from Viking 2 to Curiosity is 3059 km. Any idea why that would differ from your 2880? Does Google Earth have the coordinates wrong? (What coordinates are you using?) Is it maybe using a different value for the Mars diameter or something? How did you get 2880? Thanks and good luck on your journey!

Rich: 01/09/2016 08:12 CST

Never mind! I found this: which should answer any questions I have. Presumably Google's mileage needs correction.

Rich: 01/09/2016 09:08 CST

OK... sorry to spam your comments... but I think the 2880 km figure is wrong! The latitude of Viking 2 shown on the page I linked above is 44° N. But at it's said to be about 48° N. That agrees with Google Earth (which evidently uses a different meridian, but the latitudes match) and with the MRO images of the Viking 2 lander. It looks like the 2880 km figure was obtained using the incorrect 44° latitude. Unfortunately for anyone walking, it seems the actual distance is about 220 km longer.

Merc: 01/11/2016 02:16 CST

That chart is indeed where I got my original number, but I had been considering changing it because most of the math I've done adds up to something more like your number. I've had some trouble with the GoogleMars Maps so now I am using this: In fact I see it as about 3112 kms on here. I figured that for now I would just start walking and figure out the end goal later! So glad to hear you are coming along for the walk. Company is a good thing. How far are you?

Rich: 01/13/2016 07:25 CST

22.5 km. Thanks for the webgis2 link but it's giving me an error...

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