Merc Boyan here, Creative Director at the Planetary Society. I’m often coming up with crazy ideas to help promote the exploration of our cosmos. And sometimes the ideas arejust crazy enough to work. Usually I’m convincing Bill Nye or Dr. Bruce Betts to dress up in funny clothes and make videos, but this time I’ve pulled myself into the mix with a new plan called #MarsWalk.
I will be walking, here on Earth, and tracking my total kilometers. The distance on Mars from the Viking 2 Lander to the Curiosity Rover is about 2880 km. I will be walking that far over the course of the next few years. I hope to finish before the Mars 2020 Rover lands. Originally I didn’t realize it would take that long, as you can see in this video where I take my first steps.
Here we go! Since these first steps, I have already travelled 25 kilometers. Just 2,855 km to go! Along the way I will stop at interesting rocks, craters, hills, etc and learn a bit about them. I’ll even be passing by what is now the future landing site of Insight. Of course, by the time I get there, it will have landed! Perhaps, once I get to Curiosity, I’ll even continue on to find Spirit. Depends on how my shoes hold up.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Merc Boyan
From Viking 2 to Curiosity!
I encourage anyone with a will to learn (while getting a little exercise) to come along for the journey! You don’t even have to walk. You can run, ride a bike, roller skate, ice skate, piggy back on a friend (not recommended), or use any other mode of moving that a decent doctor would call exercise. Just use the hashtag #MarsWalk whenever you talk about it online and have fun!