A Proposed Clockwork Solar System Made out of LEGO

One of the best innovations Lego has had in the last decade is leveraging the power of the internet to help choose what kits to create.  Innovative designers can buy piece parts, make their own masterpieces, carefully document how to recreate them, and then lobby Lego to release them at a kit.  One of the more creative recent projects is a Clockwork Solar System designed by Chris Orchard and Brent Waller, and it is absolutely stunning.

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A LEGO® Version of the Very Large Telescope. It Even has a Laser Interferometer

Interferometers are some of the most highly advanced sensor instruments that humans have made.  They are used in everything from astronomy to quantum mechanics and have profoundly impacted our understanding of science.  But not all interferometers have to be functional. A Dutch astronomer named Frans Snik has just designed one that, while it isn’t function, is inspiring all the same – and it happens to be made out of Lego.

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Want a LEGO James Webb Space Telescope? It Even Folds Up

As we all anticipate the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) later this year (hopefully), LEGO designers are hoping for a “launch” of their own. A new LEGO design of JWST is currently gathering supporters on the LEGO Ideas website. If it gets enough support, LEGO will review it and possibly create it.

As of today (August 12, 2021), the idea has just under 1,500 supporters, with the goal of 10,000. If you want your very own JWST model, cast your vote of support!

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LEGO Announces the Space Shuttle Discovery and Hubble Edition

When I saw the opportunity to write about a new Lego set featuring the Space Shuttle Discovery and Hubble, I immediately went to my 7 year old son, who is obsessed with Legos, and asked him if he thought I should write about it.  He immediately agreed, so now I have the pleasure of introducing UT’s audience to one of Lego’s newest sets – #10283 – NASA Space Shuttle Discovery.

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Return to the Moon with Blue Origin’s Rockets and Lunar Lander Made Out of LEGO

Indulge your inner man-child (or woman-child) with these LEGO versions of the Blue Origin Blue Moon lunar lander, New Glenn rocket, and launch tower. This new design is currently gathering supporters on the LEGO Ideas website. If it gets enough supporters, LEGO will review it and possibly build it.

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Come Vote and Turn this SpaceX LEGO Set into a Reality

LEGO SpaceX Set

Remember the really cool Saturn V rocket set released by LEGO last year? Want to help set the direction for the next space-related LEGO set that should get built? Well then, check out SpaceX: The Ultimate Collection.

This is a proposed LEGO set designed by Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche (co-designer of the Saturn V set), consisting of three separate modules:

Block 5 Variant Falcon 9

For starters, you’ll get a Block 5 variant of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with its 9 Merlin engines, black interstage and titanium gridfins. The legs actually move up and down and lock in place for that rapid landing and easy reusablity. It also comes with a detachable upper stage with a variety of cargos. You can put a communications satellite into the detachable fairing, or a Dragon 2 capsule that’s ready to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere with its heat shield. 371 bricks

Falcon 9 Block 5. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche
Falcon 9 Block 5. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche

Dragon 2 Capsule. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche
Dragon 2 Capsule. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche


Falcon Heavy

Then there’s a completely separate Falcon Heavy with its three detachable cores, each of which has its own landing legs. It has a detachable second stage with its Merlin Vacuum Engines and fuel tanks. At the top there’s a payload fairing, and inside that – this is the best part – there’s a tiny Tesla Roadster as a payload, so you can fly your car to space, just like Elon Musk. 453 bricks

Falcon Heavy
Falcon Heavy

Tesla Roadster and Starman. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche
Tesla Roadster and Starman. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche


Transporter/Erector/Launcher

And last but not least, the set comes with a SpaceX Transporter/Erector/Launcher that can hold and display either the Falcon 9 or the Falcon Heavy. You can clamp in either rocket and then raise or lower it, ready for launch. 759 bricks

Falcon Heavy on the Transporter. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche
Falcon Heavy on the Transporter. Credit Matthew Nolan and Valerie Roche

If LEGO does decide to build this awesome set, it’ll consist of 1,583 pieces, and measure 64 cm high when fully constructed at 1:110 scale.

Now, I know you’re wondering where you can buy one of these, but you can’t. Instead, you’ve got to help convince LEGO that this is a set that they should consider putting into production at LEGO Ideas. At the time that I’m writing this article, they’ve gotten 3440 supporters to join the campaign. Because of all the support, LEGO has extended their campaign twice, and now they’ve got 589 days left to reach the 10,000 supporters.

So go, help make this happen.

Oh, and maybe we can convince LEGO to add a Drone ship for landings, Mr. Steven to catch fairings, and maybe a BFR while they’re at it.

LEGO Apollo Saturn V: Tallest LEGO Ideas Set Ever Made

The New LEGO Apollo Saturn V set displayed in horizontal position. Credit: LEGO

LEGO Saturn V in launch configuration. Credit: LEGO
LEGO Saturn V in launch configuration. Credit: LEGO

Yesterday LEGO announced that their new LEGO Apollo Saturn V set will be available to buy on June 1, 2017. And let me tell you, this thing is going to be a monster. In fact, it’ll be the tallest LEGO set ever made from their crowdsourced LEGO Ideas competition, with a total height of 1 meter (39 inches). It’s going have a total of 1969 pieces (got to assume this isn’t a coincidence), and it contains all the separate parts to run your own simulated Moon mission (LEGO Moon not included).

The LEGO Ideas competitions allow LEGO builders to propose construction ideas to the LEGO community. Fans vote up their favorite designs, and then winning sets are chosen by LEGO to be turned into actual sets. At any time, there are a bunch of space-related LEGO sets in the running, including a Hubble Space Telescope (not approved), Cassini-Huygens (expired), and the Mars Curiosity Rover (approved and in stores now).

LEGO NASA Apollo 11 Set. Credit: LEGO
LEGO NASA Apollo 11 Set. Credit: LEGO

The NASA Apollo Saturn V set was originally created by Felix Stiessen (saabfan) and Valérie Roche (whatsuptoday), and pitched to the LEGO Ideas community back in 2014. It gained enough votes to pass through each stage of approval, and yesterday, LEGO announced it’ll be available as a full set on June 1, 2017.

What’s going to be in the set? According to LEGO, it can be stacked up in its original launch profile, with all the stages attached, service module and command module attached. Or, you can display it horizontally, with the three stages separately on stands. You’ll actually be able to extract the lunar lander, dock it with the various modules, descend to your own LEGO Moon (again, you’re going to need to supply your own Moon here, maybe that’ll be a future set?), and return the command module back to an ocean landing on Earth (again, Earth not supplied).

Command, Service and Lunar Lander Modules in various configurations. Credit: LEGO
Command, Service and Lunar Lander Modules in various configurations. Credit: LEGO

This is the tallest set to ever come out of the LEGO Ideas Community, and the one with the most pieces – 1969, which coincidentally, was the same year that humans first walked on the Moon with Apollo 11. The initial prototype set was crated by Stiessen and Roche, but then the LEGO team took over when the idea was approved, enhancing it and preparing it for its final release as an official LEGO set.

It’s going to have a scale of 1:110. Since the set will be 1-metre high, that’ll give you a sense of just how big the original Saturn V rocket really was: 110 metres (or 363 feet). Regular LEGO minifigs have a scale of 1:47 or so, which means that regular minifigs won’t fit as astronauts into the set, but LEGO is planning to release a team of 3 new astronaut minifigs so you can play out the lunar landings.

This won’t be the tallest LEGO set ever built, though, that honor goes to the Eiffel Tower which is 7cm taller. That’s not much, though, they should have considered building the launch pad too, but now I’m just getting greedy.

Story credit: LEGO Ideas

Weekly Space Hangout – April 17, 2015: Amy Shira Teitel and “Breaking the Chains of Gravity”

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain)
Special Guest: Amy Shira Teitel (@astVintageSpace) discussing space history and her new book Breaking the Chains of Gravity
Guests:
Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @MorganRehnberg )

This Week’s Stories:
Falcon 9 launch and (almost!) landing
NASA Invites ESA to Build Europa Piggyback Probe
Bouncing Philae Reveals Comet is Not Magnetised
Astronomers Watch Starbirth in Real Time
SpaceX Conducts Tanking Test on In-Flight Abort Falcon 9
Rosetta Team Completely Rethinking Comet Close Encounter Strategy
Apollo 13 Custom LEGO Minifigures Mark Mission’s 45th Anniversary
LEGO Launching Awesome Spaceport Shuttle Sets in August
New Horizons Closes in on Pluto
Work Platform to be Installed in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Watching the Sunsets of Mars Through Robot Eyes: Photos
NASA Invites ESA to Build Europa Piggyback Probe
ULA Plans to Introduce New Rocket One Piece at a Time
Two Mysterious Bright Spots on Dwarf Planet Ceres Are Not Alike
18 Image Montage Show Off Comet 67/P Activity
ULA’s Next Rocket To Be Named Vulcan
NASA Posts Huge Library of Space Sounds And You’re Free to Use Them
Explaining the Great 2011 Saturn Storm
Liquid Salt Water May Exist on Mars
Color Map Suggests a Once-Active Ceres
Diverse Destinations Considered for New Interplanetary Probe
Paul Allen Asserts Rights to “Vulcan” Trademark, Challenging Name of New Rocket
First New Horizons Color Picture of Pluto and Charon
NASA’s Spitzer Spots Planet Deep Within Our Galaxy
Icy Tendrils Reaching into Saturn Ring Traced to Their Source
First Signs of Self-Interacting Dark Matter?
Anomaly Delays Launch of THOR 7 and SICRAL 2
Nearby Exoplanet’s Hellish Atmosphere Measured
The Universe Isn’t Accelerating As Fast As We Thought
Glitter Cloud May Serve As Space Mirror
Cassini Spots the Sombrero Galaxy from Saturn
EM-1 Orion Crew Module Set for First Weld Milestone in May
Special Delivery: NASA Marshall Receives 3D-Printed Tools from Space
The Roomba for Lawns is Really Pissing Off Astronomers
Giant Galaxies Die from the Inside Out
ALMA Reveals Intense Magnetic Field Close to Supermassive Black Hole
Dawn Glimpses Ceres’ North Pole
Lapcat A2 Concept Sup-Orbital Spaceplane SABRE Engine Passed Feasibility Test by USAF Research Lab
50 Years Since the First Full Saturn V Test Fire
ULA CEO Outlines BE-4 Engine Reuse Economic Case
Certification Process Begins for Vulcan to Carry Military Payloads
Major Advance in Artificial Photosynthesis Poses Win/Win for the Environment
45th Anniversary [TODAY] of Apollo 13’s Safe Return to Earth
Hubble’s Having A Party in Washington Next Week (25th Anniversary of Hubble)

Don’t forget, the Cosmoquest Hangoutathon is coming soon!

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Friday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Google+, Universe Today, or the Universe Today YouTube page.

You can join in the discussion between episodes over at our Weekly Space Hangout Crew group in G+, and suggest your ideas for stories we can discuss each week!

Sadly, There won’t be a LEGO Hubble Space Telescope

This week the official LEGO review board announced their newest official LEGO model kits that were chosen from fan-suggested ideas, submitted through its LEGO Ideas website. While a Hubble Space Telescope kit seemed an obvious choice (this year is Hubble’s 25th anniversary), instead the review board chose a Pixar WALL-E robot set and a Doctor Who set.

“We reviewed eight amazing projects that reached 10,000 supporters between June and September,” said Signe Lonholdt from the LEGO Ideas team said in a video (below) announcing the winners. The eight sets had each reached 10,000 fan votes, which Lonholdt said is a “tremendous accomplishment,” but the final decision is up to the review board. The board considers factors such as “playability, safety and fit within the LEGO brand.”

The LEGO Hubble Space Telescope set was designed and submitted by fan Gabriel Russo, who said the kit would be “the perfect homage to its 25th anniversary in 2015.” According to Robert Pearlman at collectSpace.com, it reached 10,000 votes last August. You can see the Hubble submission page here.

Other fan-submitted ideas that didn’t make the cut were three different Star Wars sets (an AT-AT, a Lightsaber set and an Invisible Hand set) along with a Ghostbusters HQ building.

Previous space-related fan-created/submitted kits that were chosen and produced by LEGO are models of Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft and NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover.

You can see other submitted ideas and vote for them on the LEGO Ideas site.

Source: LEGO