INTREPID staff and students at the University of Stirling have walked the astronomical distance between Earth and the Moon in less than 150 days.

Organised to mark 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing on July 20, 1969, ‘Walk to the Moon’ was launched in February and challenged participants to cover 238,855miles, the average distance between the two bodies, in just 150 days – just in time to mark the milestone.

However, thanks to a phenomenal effort, the challenge was completed on Monday, July 15, with five days to spare.

The challenge, launched by public health minister Joe FitzPatrick, was the brainchild of Professor Maggie Cusack, dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted to have achieved our goal of 238,855miles – and five days before the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landings.

“The landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon was a momentous occasion – and as a scientist, I feel it is extremely important that we recognise and remember the significance of this historic achievement.

“As a university involved in some of today’s major international space missions – and as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence – we felt it was appropriate to celebrate this special anniversary with our own almighty challenge – and I’m over the Moon we have landed in good time.”

Mr FitzPatrick said: “Congratulations to the staff and students at the University of Stirling for completing their walk to the moon challenge which covered a staggering 238,855miles.

“I understand the level of participation was excellent as the challenge was completed five days early.

“It is my hope that everyone taking part in this challenge enjoyed themselves and will continue to make walking a regular pursuit contributing to our vision of making the population of Scotland more active, more often.”