I know a lot of our readers are — like me — huge LEGO fans, and of course, we have lots of fans of the Mars Science Laboratory, a.k.a the Curiosity rover. One of our readers, Allen Eyler, just sent me an email on how disappointed he and many other rover fans are about the fact that LEGO has no plans to create a Curiosity toy model. However, LEGO has a website where users can submit prototype designs for LEGO projects and if 10,000 people vote for the design, then LEGO will consider mass-producing and marketing that design. Bring in Stephen Pakbaz, an engineer at JPL who was involved in some of the design and testing of the real Curiosity rover. He has now designed and built an amazing Curiosity rover in LEGO, at 1:20 scale. It features the same ‘rocker-bogie’ wheel action just like the real Curiosity rover, along with an articulating arm and a deployable mast.
It looks awesome and I’m already wanting to play with it! And just think of the great outreach for NASA and space exploration it would be to have a Lego Curiosity rover for sale in stores. We now just need our readers to help boost the votes for Curiosity as a LEGO toy model.
All you need to do is visit LEGO’s CUUSOO page for the Curiosity rover and cast your vote. You can see more images of the rover there, or at Stephen Pakbaz’s Flickr page, where there is even a video that shows how the rocker-bogie system works.
Let’s do this!
Curiosity is now on its way to Mars and is set for an exciting landing on August 6. Watch below the incredible, nail-biting video of how it is going to happen:
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.