Luna Park Chalk Art Festival, September 2012

We returned to San Jose for the fifth annual Luna Park Chalk Festival, and decided to celebrate the recent successful touchdown of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover in the Gale Crater on Mars. While researching images of the rover, we discovered that Stephen Pakbaz, an engineer who worked on the NASA project, had also created a Lego model of the rover (actually, he created models of the descent stage and sky crane too). We liked how the Lego model simplified the rover visually, so we downloaded Stephen's CAD model (did you know Lego has a free CAD package for creating Lego objects?) and manipulated it to get a view we liked. Then we added the aliens--who we viewed as helping the rover check out the rocks around the site. Just for fun, we named the three aliens Neil, Buzz and Michael, after the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Cheryl paints Buzz the cute alien
Cheryl started work with Buzz, the cute alien in the front.

Alien Buzz with some painted rocks
Buzz with some of the available rocks.

Status of the painting on Friday afternoon
By late Friday afternoon, we had much of the peripherals complete--two aliens, a lot of rocks, and some of the upper parts of the rover itself. All that was missing was the rover itself.

Neil, the alien on the left, holds a shovel
The second alien, Neil, carries a shovel as he heads for a rock.

Wayne stencils the rover camera
Wayne works on the camera box.

Wayne works on rover camera, view from top
Wayne tapes out an edge for the rover's elevated camera.

Sean helps Wayne paint the lens
Wayne gets some help painting the camera lens from our neighbor Sean.

Wayne paints the camera lens
On Saturday morning, Wayne finishes the camera lens.

Wayne and Cheryl work on the painting on Sunday morning
An extreme view from the top of the painting.

Cheryl paints rover wheels
Cheryl paints rover wheels while Neil looks on.

Wayne at work on the rover neck
Wayne works his way down the rover's "neck."

Wayne appears to be floating next to the rover
Wayne floats on the rover, working on the back of its body.

Catie and Micky help Wayne and Cheryl
We got some welcome help on Saturday afternoon from our niece Catie and her new friend, Micky. Micky was painting a square next to Catie and they hit it off.

Cheryl and Wayne work on the rover body
We work against the end of day deadline to finish the rover body.

Gia the chihuahua poses with Buzz the alien
Our friend Monika's pup Gia got to play with Buzz.

Buzz reaches for a cookie
Buzz reaches for a cookie.

Finished painting from the upper left corner
The finished painting from the upper left.

Completed painting

The finished painting on Sunday morning
We were able to come down to the park the next morning, after the park walkways were opened to traffic. There was little apparent damage while we were there, but the colors were starting to fade.

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