It’s been a while since a Space Shuttle orbiter docked with the International Space Station; Atlantis launched July 8, 2011, over five years ago. Since then, all astronauts have caught a ride on the Soyuz out of Kazakhstan. In a few years, they’ll be flying out of Cape Canaveral, once again, thanks to the Commercial Crew program. Until then, let us all gaze upon the beauty of Lia Chan‘s absolutely stunning brick-built ISS and Space Shuttle orbiter Endeavor.
For a look at the shuttle pre-launch, be sure to check out our post featuring the shuttle, launch pad, and NASA’s Next Giant Leap!
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.
Click to read more!
Chris McVeigh is on target with his latest build of NASA’s space probe Juno. Just as the actual space probe enters Jubiter’s orbit this week after a five-year cruise, Chris releases his own version of the famous space probe built from LEGO. This LEGO version is a great representation of Juno, with accurate shaping and colouring although a much smaller price tag.
In a lovely twist, Juno has carried three aluminium LEGO minifigures with her on the journey to Jupiter. Our original post about the launch of Juno and her minifigure passengers was back in 2011 so it’s great to hear of the successful mission.
We are discovering new things about Saturn regularly thanks to the NASA-ESA collaboration, Cassini-Huygens. And thanks to Stefan Schindler, we can view his gorgeous model of the spacecraft whenever we’d like. The model uses a few custom-gold pieces to emulate the craft’s special thermal shielding. The spacecraft is made up of the Cassini orbiter, named for Italian-French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and the Huygens prob, named for Dutch astronomer, mathematician and physicist Christiaan Huygens.
Cassini has contributed to many scientific discoveries and regularly sends back some of the most stunning imagery of Saturn, its rings, and its moons. Its mission started upon launch on October 15, 1997, and is still going strong nearly 20 years later.
The mastermind of LEGO models featuring motion, Jason Allemann has built a working orrery featuring the sun, earth and moon. Although other LEGO orreries exist, Jason’s model is the only one that is over 97% accurate compared to the actual rotation frequencies of these celestial bodies.
Check out the video to see the orrery in motion and learn about its intricate construction.
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is one of the main non-destructive techniques at the disposal of modern archaeologists. While Tyler Sky says that this crew of LEGO space scientists are on a geomorphology survey expedition, I like to imagine that they’re xenoarchaeologists hoping to discover buried alien civilizations. Built in realistic grey, the GPR vehicle evokes the retro-futuristic vibe of Classic Space LEGO, while the shape of the sensor array on the front appears to be eminently practical.
Some say LEGO is art, but others say it’s a science. This brick-built microscope from Josiah N. lends credence to the latter supposition. So start doing some LEGO science!
Wondering what a LEGO microscope could possibly show you? Well, Josiah’s got us covered there too, with a view through his microscope of a human cell. It’s incredible seeing the mitochondria in such detail.
Not to be outdone by Tim and his tiny choo-choo in our last post, Jonas has built this massive whale’s skeleton using the Iron Builder seed part, complete with a Museum of Natural History backdrop and guard. The whale’s skull is particularly well-built, reflecting the proportional size and shape of baleen whales like the blue whale and humpback.
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!
This build by WRme2 is simply one of the most brilliant creations I’ve ever come across:
We’ve featured many castle vignettes before, so what makes this one so special?
It’s the windows. That’s not fancy photoshoping, that’s science!
WRme2 has figured out that due to the manufacturing process of some of the earlier LEGO bricks, when photographed with a polarizer you get that amazing effect which he has so brilliantly used in this build.
Here’s what it looks like with portion of a brick under a polarizer (like sunglasses):
For those really interested, he’s also done an equally impressive job explaining the science behind these colourful bricks.
I wish I’d had one of these guys when I was studying for high school anatomy and physiology! While he may not be one-hundred percent anatomically correct, this marvelous skeleton by umamen comes pretty darn close (actually, I can’t imagine getting much closer with LEGO). He’s got everything that counts including knobby knees, boney phalanges and neck vertebrae, protruding clavicles, a healthy set of lungs, and even a complete digestive tract. And he appears to be extremely poseable. His rib cage even opens for a closer look!
Check out more photos on Flickr.
It is 1965, and we have been transported to Leba launch site in Poland where Karwick has a Meteor 1 research rocket ready to launch.
Meteor-1A was a one stage ‘sounding rocket’ that would supply valuable meteorological and rocket technical data during its sub-orbital flight. The launch site for the Meteor series of rockets was Leba, Poland between 1963 and 1974.
The details on this yellow launching gantry are fantastic, especially the use of yellow minifig hands and pirate hooks to hold the guide wires in place! The coloured hose details on the detonator box are perfect and the silver rocket is adorable (if rockets can be adorable).
Not satisfied with a sub-orbital launch, in 1970, the Meteor 2 was launched from Leba and touched the boundary of the Earth’s atmosphere into space at an altitude of 100km. Karwik’s Meteor 2 is bigger, better, chromed and has a fantastic gantry that includes a loading buggy on rails.
A series of photographs providing a 360º view of the launch site of Karwick’s can be seen on Flickr.