The Classical Academy - Colorado Springs, CO

The "Walk on Mars" map finally went on a road trip by itself! John Balke, the Mars Odyssey Systems Lead at Lockheed Martin, organized this map event at The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, CO on January 11th, 2019. The school raised enough money to ship the map from ASU to Colorado Springs, but to help keep costs down, no one from the THEMIS science team traveled with it this time. Instead, the event was completely organized and run by John Balke and other engineers from Lockheed Martin, as well as volunteers from Harris Corporation, United Launch Alliance, Aerospace Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Blue Peak Solutions, Boecor and the University of Colorado. Over 750 students and 100 adults were able to explore the Red Planet and learn about the major geologic features, the history of unmanned landers and rovers, and NASA's plans for sending humans to Mars in the 2030s. With >850 total participants, this event doubled our record for attendance at a single event! A huge "Thank You" to John Balke, Wesley Jolly at The Classical Academy, and all the volunteers who helped make this event such an amazing success!



The 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft and the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) have been acquiring infrared images of Mars for more than 16 years. The best-quality images from the mission have been compiled into a global mosaic at 100 m/pixel resolution and printed on a walkable basketball-court-sized vinyl mat to spread awareness and excitement about Mars exploration!

Homepage Background Image: Full-disk image of Mars with the Tharis volcanoes in the west and Valles Marineris in the east from the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Mars Color Camera (MCC). Image courtesy of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Indian Space Science Data Center (ISSDC) and Emily Lakdawalla.