“Mission to Space” is a NASA-LEGO partnership to inspire children about science and space exploration through two complimentary and interactive websites. They have lots of interesting information, activities, videos, quizzes, and more. If you have kids who are interested in spacetravel, becoming an astronaut, or how science is used in exploring distant planets, this is a great way to learn. It is also fun if you are just looking for some space related LEGO creations, and there is even a LEGO building challenge! 🙂
NASA and LEGO have a longstanding relationship. LEGO released a number of space exploration related sets through the years, like the #21101 LEGO Hayabusa from 2012, the #21104 LEGO NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover from 2014, and the entire LEGO Discovery collection from 2003 (see below). In addition, astronauts regularly take LEGO sets and minifigures with them to the International Space Station for both science and fun. In fact, LEGO delivered 28 LEGO models to the station in the last five years. They are used for various research projects, and to build models to see how they work in microgravity.
NASA says the following on their website about the collaboration: “NASA and LEGO have worked together to produce a fun and engaging online activity. “Mission to Space” takes kids on a journey through space with visits to the International Space Station, Mars and Jupiter, and gives them a chance to make their own space creations through an online building challenge. NASA research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is essential to humanity’s continuing journey of exploration.” Check the NASA “Mission to Space” website here.
And this is what LEGO says about the partnership: “Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could visit other planets and travel through space? Well, here’s your chance to go on a mission to space through a partnership between NASA and the LEGO Group! Pack your space-lunch, and get ready to fly the International Space Station, pass the Moon, all the way to Mars and Jupiter! Learn fun facts about our solar system, play quizzes, and get a taste of life as an astronaut and space-pioneer! Round off the trip by entering an out-of-this-world building challenge.” Check the LEGO “Mission to Space” website here.
You learn interesting facts, like that in 2003 NASA and LEGO worked together to send the first construction bricks to Mars aboard the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Rovers. A third Mars rover, named Curiosity joined Spirit and Opportunity on Mars in 2012. Or, that onboard the Juno spacecraft that after a 5-year journey finally reached Jupiter earlier this summer, there are three specially-constructed LEGO minifigures made of space-grade aluminum: Roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno and ‘father of science’ Galileo Galilei (see below).
Kids can also participate in the “Building Your Future” challenge. There is no prize, but it is still a fun activity. Here is the description: “We’re looking for the most creative builds and awesome space ideas. How would your home on a planet look like? How would you grow food in space? How would you travel from planet to planet? Just use LEGO bricks and build what your future in space look like, take a picture and upload to our “Mission to Space” gallery. The winner creations will be featured on LEGO.com and receive a winner badge on their LEGO.com gallery page!”
While the “Mission to Space” website is supposed to be for kids, adults can enjoy it as well. And it also offers a great way for families to learn, explore and build together. I particularly like the little spaceship and planets you can build from the stop-motion instructions, and the videos about living on the International Space Station. This is a lesser-known section of the LEGO website, so check it out! And if you would like to build your own space exploration scenes, there are several LEGO City Space sets currently available at the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? Did you know about LEGO’s collaboration with NASA? Have you checked out the websites yet? Did you learn something new? What do you think about LEGO in space? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
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