LEGO and NASA have announced an official partnership, inviting you to explore space with Mission to Space! This new, interactive program comes after the recently announced Apollo 11 LEGO Ideas set and marks a new chapter in LEGO’s ongoing relationship with NASA.
In 1971, the lunar rover was delivered to the moon as part of the Apollo 15 mission, and used on all subsequent missions. As I have a fond appreciation for “real” space ships, I am delighted to share with you Luis Peña‘s absolutely beautiful lunar lander module, Apollo capsule, and the ever-adorable and oh so fun lunar rover.
The Apollo capsule is instantly recognizable. The curves convey the shape wonderfully, and I love the properly cramped interior that Luis is able to show. The rover’s colors are so vibrant!
And if you like LEGO Apollo models, remember that LEGO is currently working on an Apollo 11 set, so you’ll be able to buy your own in the near future.
The LEGO Ideas team has announced the winners of the third 2015 LEGO Ideas Review. Nine sets were up for consideration, and two were selected. These projects will now proceed through a design phase, where LEGO designers will tweak the designs. They will then become available as official LEGO sets.
The Beatles Yellow Submarine by Kevin Szeto
Apollo 11 Saturn V by saabfan and whatsuptoday
We’ll update you on official pictures and pricing once those become available.
The next round are currently in review, and we expect to hear on those in Fall 2016!
NASA Engineer and LEGO fan Nicholas Mastramico has brought us a most excellent follow up to the shuttle, launch pad, and SLS rocket we featured last week. Nicholas’s microscale version is eye-catching with the great detail he’s packed into such a small model. What makes his version particularly special is his relationship with the rocket: Nicholas is a structural design engineer for NASA, and is currently working on the real SLS rocket.
This means his micro-SLS has a unique opportunity to stand in the shadows of its ancestors, like the Saturn V rocket pictured here.
Nicholas says he’s always been a huge sci-fi fan – but it was the early pictures of Mars from Sojourner that truly hooked him on space travel. He decided then he would build rockets for NASA one day, and that goal guided him through school to where he is now. He was recently involved in a test with a weather balloon, for which he provided a passenger. The experiment took the minifig up to 120,000 feet!
Space is pretty fantastic. Right now, we space fans have a lot to be excited about with SpaceX’s reusable, landing first stage rocket; Blue Origin’s reusable, landing rocket for space tourism; and the recent achievement on the International Space Station with Bigelow Aerospace’s Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, an experimental expandable space station module.
Lia Chan gives a glorious look into the past at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. This beautiful, beautiful build features the launch platform, crawler transport system, and NASA’s retired workhorse, Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Like many sci-fi, science, and space geeks, the exploration and colonization of Mars has always held a special fascination for me. Shannon Sproule has created a LEGO version of a novel idea — sending a drone to 3D print habitats on Mars. With a realistic color scheme and extensive use of round bricks, including a pair of round 7×7 domes, Shannon has created a plausible construction robot. Here’s hoping NASA is paying attention to innovative ideas like this!
If NASA had done it as well as this version by duo Sean and Steph Mayo, maybe they’d have gotten away with it. Rarely am I a fan of non-LEGO elements added to a creation, but in this case the moon dust really takes this up a notch. The best detail here for me, though, is the brick-built tires (a combination of words which rarely refers to anything good).
On Dec. 5, 2014, at 7:05 a.m. EST, NASA launched the new crew capsule, Orion, for it’s first experimental flight test on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. The mission was to send Orion 3,600 miles into orbit (for reference, the ISS hangs out at around between 205-270 miles above the Earth) and return to test the new heat shield. Orion went further than any space craft designed for human flight since the Apollo 17 mission. The test flight when perfectly.
Why is this awesome? It’s NASA’s next giant leap. The Orion crew capsule is going to take us back to the moon, to asteroids, and to Mars.
Wesley, your Delta IV Heavy is fantastic and instantly recognizable and an excellent tribute to the historic launch.
I admit. I couldn’t decide which of the two I wanted to blog, so I went with both. Ryan (eldeeem) posted two amazing space creations recently, and they demand to be seen.
Let’s to with science fiction first. Ryan posted the latest addition to the Starfighter Telephone game with his contribution, the Nata V.II:
I just can’t say no to those curves and colors.
For science fact, Ryan’s posted this stunning commission for the University of Colorado Boulder. According to the description, this will be on display mid-September. The build features the Apollo 11 service module, nicknamed Columbia. This module, commanded by Neil Armstrong, brought he and fellow crewmates Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin to the moon 45 years ago this past July.
So. Here’s the question: Science Fact or Science Fiction? Which is your favorite?
Popular culture is filled with many iconic fictional spacecraft, but relatively few factual ones. But to anyone old enough to remember Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos, or young enough to have enjoyed its more recent incarnation, the image below will stir up many fond memories!
It is of course a NASA Voyager probe, faithfully recreated in LEGO by Ryan H (eldeem)…
Launched in the 1970’s, NASA’s Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft were actually the first to explore the outer solar system, and the first to carry a message for any aliens that might encounter them. But the later Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes gained much more notoriety, with their more ambitious missions and superior imaging capabilities. Even the “message from Earth” got an upgrade, from a simple plaque, to a recording containing images and sounds from Earth (which you can even see in Ryan’s model above).
Lasting more than a decade, the Voyager missions were much longer than anything the public were used to at that time. Every few years one of the spacecraft would reach its next target, and the world would be caught up in Voyager fever all over again, as amazing images of far-off worlds flooded our screens. Still transmitting to this day, the Voyager probes are among the most distant man-made objects in existence, and are now at the very edge of the solar system, headed for interstellar space.
Ryan’s Voyager is a commission for the University of Colorado, and will be on display at the CU Heritage Center from mid-September. Go check it out!
Tomorrow is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I hope we see many moon-themed LEGO models over the next couple of days, but we’ll start with this fantastic microscale version of the lander by Ted Andes.
Ted has been building one vignette a week this year, and this is his 31st. Check out his photostream for the rest.
On January 1, LEGO released the newest in the CUUSOO line, the Mars Curiosity Rover. Set designer Stephen Pakbaz submitted his design to CUUSOO, and in due time the project reached it’s 10k votes. The set was revealed at BrickWorld 2013.
This fantastic video, from Your Creative Friends reviews the new set with Stephen’s walk through, explaining the instruments and their purpose while comparing the final set design to his original design. I highly encourage you to check it out!
LEGO CUUSOO 21104 Mars Curiosity Rover
is currently back-ordered, but only available from the LEGO Shop online. Click through the link to order it for yourself!