Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

NASA Sends Lego Figures to Jupiter 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the universal-toy dept.
bLanark writes "NASA have teamed up with Lego and will send three specially crafted, minifigures towards Jupiter in a probe to be launched on an Atlas V rocket on Friday. The figures, representing Roman gods Jupiter and Juno, and astronomer Galileo, are machined from aluminum and are the normal size for Lego minifigures. From the article: 'This (until now) secret installation was initiated by NASA scientists, who love Lego as much as anyone and wanted to do something memorable for this mission. They approached Lego and the company loved the idea. It saw the project as a way to promote children’s education and STEM programs.'"

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Sends Lego Figures to Jupiter

Comments Filter:
  • 2011: (Score:5, Funny)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:29PM (#36987894) Homepage Journal

    A Lego Odyssey

    they should have at least thrown in a standard 8x2 thin black piece mounted vertically as a joke

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:31PM (#36987910)

    0) NASA approached Lego
    1) Lego underwrote the project; 5K per mini
    2) Using identifiable objects is a great way to get kids interested in science.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:34PM (#36987966) Journal

      3) It's just f'ing kewl.

      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        *golf clap*

      • When will they start selling machined aluminum lego parts to, say, me? I demand to benefit from NASA projects, personally!
        • by mikael (484)

          I'm sure I once saw one of those magnetic office toys with lego bricks - definitely had the one with the circular pad and the diamond shaped leaves.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Arlet (29997)

      It's actually a pretty lousy way. If kids aren't already in awe by a probe visiting Jupiter, it's pointless to 'bribe' their interest with LEGO figures. Even if this will make them interested, it's only going to work for whatever short attention span they have, and it's getting them interested for the wrong reasons.

      It reminds me of the way we try to make math more interesting at schools.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by blair1q (305137)

        Can I interest you in a course in HTML [lissaexplains.com]?

        • by Arlet (29997)

          No, but you can interest me in an 'edit' feature for slashdot to fix simple typos.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            It's there, but they've mislabeled it as "Preview"
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That's silly. I became interested in computers as a result of wanting to play video games. One day I thought... What is this box the game runs on, anyway? I started digging, and I've been trotting Fortune-50s ever since.

        Getting kids interested in the tiniest corner of a field of science is a great way to open the door to bigger and better interests.

        Kids who love LEGO are thinkers, dreamers, and imagineers. If LEGO becomes their ingress point to astronomy, who are you to judge? Bottom line, this is a great i

      • by geekoid (135745)

        I guess the depends on what age we are talking about.

        I guess if you had your way you would just slap down a book on the maths of orbital mechanics and say 'read up kid, it's cool, homey'

        Something has to catch their interest. Going to Jupiter is only cool and awe inspiring when you can only understand how far away it is, and the science that can be done. Until then, using Lego to get interest is fine.

        My name, my wife's name, and my kids names are on Mars, and also on an comet. When my kids where old enough,

        • by Arlet (29997)

          I guess if you had your way you would just slap down a book on the maths of orbital mechanics and say 'read up kid, it's cool, homey'

          How about a book about the solar system, with nice glossy pictures of all the planets ? That's what my generation had as kids.

      • Probes going to Jupiter is a pretty abstract concept to younger kids. They might understand that this machine is flying through space to another planet, but it doesn't relate to anything they've seen or done. Add Lego figures into the mix and it relates to something they've seen and done. They've played with Legos before. So now it becomes Legos (similar to the ones in their own room) being flung through space to arrive on a completely different planet. Teens and older can appreciate the scientific ach

    • 2) Using identifiable objects is a great way to get kids interested in science.

      [[citation needed]]

  • But wait until it reaches some alien civilization, and then they come back and conquer us with their new Lego machines.
    • by Talderas (1212466)

      We have our own LEGO machines to combat against the ones they send.

    • by Gilmoure (18428)

      Or the aliens will invade, expecting mini-fig sized people.

      COOL!

    • We'll combat them with toddlers who destroy their Lego machines. Of course, they will fight back with Lego mines planted all over the Earth that hurt our feet when we step on them. Wait... (checks living room where my kids were playing) the aliens have already invaded!!!

  • Looks like Juno got the short end of the design stick. Where the other two characters got custom beards, tools and whatnot...she got flowing hair and a frying pan?

  • Sending 3 heroes of the western world on a suicide mission where their last moments will be like in Toy Story 3 with the figures silently considering their fate as slowly approach the fiery furnace. Except that this time there is no hope of escape.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      Haha. There's always hope of escape. It's Hollywood! Even within the orbit of Megaclite [wikipedia.org]!

    • Maybe this could be the plot of Toy Story 4. The toys somehow wind up aboard an interplanetary probe and must figure out a way to divert it back to Earth before it crashes, stranding or destroying them. It's revealed that Buzz Lightyear actually knows a great deal about astrophysics. (He is a space toy, after all.)

  • by burris (122191) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:46PM (#36988156)

    The juno mission web site is a gigantic, slothlike, steaming pile of crap. It takes forever to load, plays music, makes your computer get hot which causes the fans to crank up, forces you to read agonizingly slow text that fades in, etc... I couldn't even find what I was looking for so I just closed the tab. What a huge waste of money.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      The juno mission web site is a gigantic, slothlike, steaming pile of crap. It takes forever to load, plays music, makes your computer get hot which causes the fans to crank up, forces you to read agonizingly slow text that fades in, etc... I couldn't even find what I was looking for so I just closed the tab. What a huge waste of money.

      So... it's like a wife [wikipedia.org]?

      P.S. For those who still don't get the joke: Juno is the Roman goddess of marriage.

  • What they should next is throw a teapot

    Russel will turn in his grave.

  • So who says we geeks don't know how to have fun?
  • by blair1q (305137)

    Especially the Galileo.

  • How precisely do you spend $5000 on an aluminum figure about an inch and a half in size?? I could turn out all three of those on a vertical mill in one afternoon with about $5 worth of aluminum.
    • Great. Now get them up there.

      • by 6Yankee (597075)

        I'll bet some collector would pay ten times that to have one of these on his shelf. Imagine how much they'll be worth when they get to Jupiter!

        When it's profitable to send a probe to bring them back and stick them on Ebay, we've won. :)

    • by geekoid (135745)

      A) You have to actually retool a piece of equipment to meet Lego's very precise measurements. I doubt you could do that.
      B) You have to pay for the material.
      C) You have to pay to have it done.
      D) You have to pay the people who designed them.
      F) You have to account for mistakes
      G) You need to ship them
      H) You need to be sure the are placed on the spacecraft to exact specs.

      News flash: The world is bigger then your little mind, and shit costs money to do.

    • I would wager that a good chunk of that change was spent on the wages of a professional writing the CNC mill code necessary to do such a detailed machining job. Those are pretty expensive skills
    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      You would need a 5th axis to do the 3D millwork efficiently which makes setup a little more complex. The cost of $5k probably includes CAD/CAM design time as well.

  • We don't send people into space, but we do send legos shaped like people!
  • In which they'll collide them in the hope of seeing the Higgs Mechano.

  • Just to let those Jovian bitches know we're coming to take over!

  • These LEGO figurines look awesome! My hat's off to the JUNO team!

    We sent (flattened) LEGO figurines aboard the MER landers, too (not on the rovers proper). Their names were Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust, if I recall correctly. See my blog [blogspot.com] for a terrific color picture of Spirit's LEGO figurine before she drove away.

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer

Working...