It is not an everyday occurrence for me to get an email from the South Pole. Several months ago, however, I was contacted by Ethan Rudnitsky, who was spending the winter at the US Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, and who asked me for instructions to build a model of an LC-130 Hercules. This is the aircraft used to fly people to and from the station and Ethan wanted to put the model on display in the station. TBB used the opportunity to find out more about LEGO fans at the South Pole in an interview and agreed to supply the instructions, stickers, and the parts to build the Hercules.
Ethan and I had yet to work out how to get the model there. Enter Martin Rongen, a physicist and LEGO fan, like myself, who contacted me from Germany having seen my LC-130 prototype. He was due to travel to the Pole around Christmas (summer in Antarctica) and wondered whether I was willing to share instructions so that he could take the LEGO model with him. How about that? Problem solved! We could ship the whole lot to Germany.
Click here to read the full interview
I love a flashy futuristic spaceship as much as the next guy, but there’s something special about Ryan Howerter‘s modern weather satellite. Ryan has done a ridiculously accurate job of recreating the NASA / NOAA research satellite in LEGO, down to the last maneuvering thruster. I love the idea that every little detail on this model is some real piece of equipment measuring or transmitting up in space right now, and I’m especially impressed with the lens cover held open with a link of track.
The Stanford torus was a design concept for a permanent space habitat for 10,000 residents proposed at Stanford University during the summer of 1975. Though not the only idea for a ring-shaped space station that would provide gravity to inhabitants, it’s one of the designs that received significant research from NASA. MSP! has created a microscale LEGO version, complete with buildings and landscaping on the ring’s interior. Mounted on an unobtrusive stand, this would look fantastic on any astronaut’s desk.
We’re no strangers to science here at TBB, and love featuring these types of builds. Last year, we featured Jason Alleman’s lovely Particle Accelerator (which is part of the upcoming review round on LEGO Ideas). To compliment our collection of scientific stuff, I’d like to submit for consideration -Disty-‘s BERG-LNZ Particle Acceleration Library.
This fantastic build is a great glimpse into what the builder imagines the inside of a particle accelerator to be, and it’s pretty fantastic. The parts use for the two massive components on each end is just great, and it looks suitably industrial.
One of the wonderful things about the LEGO system is that you can build things at many different scales, in immeasurable combinations, much like the mind-blowing complexity of the universe itself. VAkkron has built this lifelike, instantly recognizable bust of the great physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, with his flowing hair and distinctive chin.
Click through to see a LEGO orrery and Newton’s life in microscale
Getting to the moon is tricky; getting around on the moon is not. The last three missions all got to ride the Lunar Rover, built here by Dorian Glacet.
This gorgeous little scene features the lunar lander in exquisite detail, plenty of texture to the moon’s surface, and the little Rover that could. I love the attention to detail with the equipment and the rover’s tracks.
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.