This year marks the 50th anniversary of human space flight, as we celebrate Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin‘s historic orbit on April 12, 1961. This year also marks the start of a new but attenuated space age — one without NASA’s Space Shuttle program. In a sense, humanity stands at a fork in the road of our collective existence. Do we fold back in on ourselves and continue eking out a day-to-day existence on a planet with fewer and fewer resources, or do we adapt to our changing world and find new ways of living — both here at home and possibly beyond?
These are serious questions with philosophical, scientific, and political import. But they’re also pretty cool inspiration for building with LEGO! The collaborative display for readers of The Brothers Brick at BrickCon 2011 later this year is titled Numereji 2421.
For hundreds of years humans traveled through space like locusts, jumping from one planet to the next as they exhausted each home in turn. An outbound emigrant ship suffered a navigational and power failure that led to crash landing on Numereji, a terrestrial planet with a breathable atmosphere. Although the colonists crashed in an arid part of the planet, there may be a broad variety of environments beyond the horizon.
They settled into their home and built the town of New Howland. They held little hope of response to their distress signal, and for thirty years they survived off the remains of their ship, struggling to live alongside the alien flora and fauna. In time, they built a thriving, sustainable community.
Things changed five years ago when rescuers unexpectedly arrived and tenuous links were established with Outworld communities. Waves of immigrants have begun to arrive, and New Howland has become the main spaceport. Will Numerians follow the old pattern or take the new path blazed by the pioneering crash survivors?
The theme of BrickCon 2011 is “Building a Community.”
Applying this theme to the collaborative display we’ll all build together, in what direction will your contribution take our fragile colony? Will you build a wind farm or a smuggler’s base? A cyber-library or Terran Expeditionary Marines recruiting office? Our future rests in your hands. The choice is yours.
We don’t currently have any particular standards in mind for the display, though we are returning to minifig-scale. The inevitable mix of technologies, terrains, and building styles provides lots of opportunities for a diversity of contributions.
Sources of inspiration for this display include:
- Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
- Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia
- NASA and Russian/Soviet Space Agency concept art, particularly from the 60’s through 80’s
- Concept Ships and affiliated blogs