If you happen to be a LEGO aficionado or just consider yourself a space geek, you’re in luck! LEGO has now released its model of NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, to the public. The set is now available for purchase at LEGO’s website for $29.99 USD.
The idea to create a LEGO set to model Curiosity came from the mind of mechanical engineer and NASA employee Stephen Pakbaz, who worked on the Mars Science Laboratory mission at JPL. To make his idea a reality, Stephen drew up a some plans and pitched them on LEGO’s “Cuusoo” site which allows fans to vote for their favorite user-created designs. In June of 2013, after gaining nearly 10,000 votes on the site, Pakbaz’s idea was conditionally approved by LEGO to begin production later in the year.
Along with the Curiosity Rover, a number of other space-related projects have popped up on Cuusoo and already have substantial support. The Apollo 11 lander, NASA’s Crawler Transporter, the Hubble Space Telescope, and New Horizons spacecraft have all been proposed on the community website and are now awaiting further support and approval.
Public recognition of space technology is one of the most important steps to furthering the cause of space exploration. While these LEGO sets may simply be seen as “toys” by many, their importance in inspiring future generations of scientists and engineers cannot be overstated.
Show your support of NASA here: http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/
Learn more about NASA-based LEGO sets, where you can find them, and how to support them: http://goo.gl/yF7bI1
Images Courtesy of LEGO