Smarty Pants Builds Giant Mars Rover at Adler Planetarium

In July 2013, I received an email from a staff member at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL.

The email explained that the Planetarium was hosting a one-year celebration of the Mars “Curiousity” Rover’s landing on the planet Mars, and if I’d be able to build a full scale model of the Mars Rover, entirely in balloons.

In my twelve plus years as a balloon artist in Chicago, I’ve built a Greek Parthenon, an Abraham Lincoln, an entire circus, and a life sized car all out of balloons, but never a Mars Rover.    This sounded like a great challenge, and a great opportunity to work at Adler Planetarium, one of my favorite places in Chicago.

The building of the Mars Rover began at 8:30 am before the Planetarium even opened to the public, and continued throughout the morning into the afternoon.

Since the Rover had to be completed by 2:30 pm that same day, I enlisted the assistance of a fellow balloon artist, Ryan Freeman of RCJuggles (you can see his amazing work at and together, we were able to complete the entire piece by the afternoon deadline.

It was a true honor to showcase my unique balloon work at a prestigious venue of the Adler Planetarium.   The Mars Rover stood on display for over a week, and I’ve been informed that patrons of the Planetarium were amazed to see this kind of work done with balloons.

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