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Travel To The Moon With David Bowie (360° Video)

NPR's YouTube channel, Skunk Bear, answers your science questions. This week, we picked one in honor of David Bowie.

Bowie was born on Jan. 8 and would have turned 70 on Sunday. Tuesday, Jan. 10, marks the first anniversary of his death. Bowie filled his songs with references to space, and his first big hit, "Space Oddity," was released just days before humans first walked on the moon.

So today we're tackling a very space-y question from an anonymous Tumblr user:

"Can you tell me how long it would take to walk to the moon? Could I make it there in my lifetime?"

Ridiculous, of course. What would you walk on? How would you breathe? Where would you put all the trail mix?

But we decided to take the question seriously. If a human set out walking at a reasonable pace today, stopping to eat and sleep and take a day off once in a while — how long would it take to travel the distance that separates Earth and the moon?

We attempt the trip — virtually — in a 360 degree environment. As you watch our video, you'll be able to rotate your view by clicking and dragging (or by moving your mobile device*) to see the things a moon-bound hiker would see. What does Earth look like from the height of the Hubble telescope or from the height of a weather satellite?

To help pass the time, we brought along some of Bowie's music. It's only right that his major hits serve as milestones on our way to the moon.

You can submit your science questions to Skunk Bear here. (Maybe we'll tackle, "Is there life on Mars?" next.) Subscribe to our YouTube channel to follow the answers.

*Unfortunately Safari doesn't support 360 - you'll have to use the Chrome browser or the youtube app on an iPhone.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Adam Cole
Ryan Kellman
Ryan Kellman is a producer and visual reporter for NPR's science desk. Kellman joined the desk in 2014. In his first months on the job, he worked on NPR's Peabody Award-winning coverage of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He has won several other notable awards for his work: He is a Fulbright Grant recipient, he has received a John Collier Award in Documentary Photography, and he has several first place wins in the WHNPA's Eyes of History Awards. He holds a master's degree from Ohio University's School of Visual Communication and a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute.
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