Installed in 1993, in cooperation with the Lansing Board of Water and Light, Impression 5 Science Center, and the City of Lansing, the Planet Walk is a scale model of the solar system that stretches almost two miles along Lansing's River Trail.
It begins with a 20 inch sun, located outside the Impression 5 Science Center. At Planet Walk scale, Earth is depicted as the size of a pencil eraser on a plaque mounted 179 feet away from the Sun. Jupiter, the largest planet, is shown as the size of an orange and is located 932 feet from the Sun. Pluto, the most distant planet from the Sun, appears as the size of a pinhead, and is located almost two miles away, near the entrance to Potter Park Zoo. Click here to view Planet Walk marker depicting Saturn. It will take from 45-60 minutes walking time to travel the solar system one way. You'll stroll over five billion scale miles in less than an hour.
In fall of 2002, the Board of Water and Light and local marketing firm, Pace and Partners, funded a new updated Planet Walk exhibit. The enhanced new exhibit features colorful plaques displaying each planet to scale, along with planet facts, a map of the entire exhibit, and photographs from the Hubble telescope.
Over the years, the exhibit has seen its share of visitors, many of whom were already experienced space travelers. The original exhibit was dedicated on October 19, 1993, by Jack Lousma, Michigan native and Apollo and Skylab astronaut, who led the first group of students and local space buffs for a stroll from Sun to Pluto with interpretive comments and stories along the way. Other NASA notables have also led the Planet Walk event, including Dr. Jerry Linenger, a space shuttle astronaut, who trained and worked with Russian cosmonauts aboard space station Mir.