When it comes to feats of human ingenuity, there are few that sit higher on the proverbial totem pole than that of the Hubble Space Telescope journey. Armed with launching the Hubble into an orbit that would guarantee longevity, the crew of NASA’s Discovery shuttle faced mounting challenges, difficult conditions and unfamiliar environments, but against all odds, the mission was a success. Now, thanks to LEGO, you can relive that fateful journey on your own, with the new LEGO NASA Discovery and Hubble Set.
The latest kit is a version of the STS-31 Hubble deployment mission, complete with movable payload doors. Amazingly, LEGO actually partnered with NASA for the design, ensuring that all elements on-board were true to the original 1990 expedition. “This dynamic duo represent humanity’s greatest endeavour — the quest for knowledge. Discovery and Hubble continue to inspire,” NASA tweeted on Monday.
Available to purchase on April 1 for USD$200 (AUDS$299.99), the LEGO NASA Discovery and Hubble Set is 2,354 pieces of history, including three specially designed blocks for the windscreen and payload bay. Better yet, the set features 108 drum lacquered silver pieces, a new record for LEGO.
For those wondering how much desk space this model will take up, the set has a 1:70 scale, meaning the assembled shuttle will be around 8.5 inches high, 21 inches long, and 13.5 inches wide. While that is big, the set does come with two display stands, allowing you to display either the shuttle and telescope separately or together, with the telescope is emerging from the payload bay.
While size and number of pieces is a big step up compared to previous NASA sets, the biggest takeaway is the authenticity and design, but it should come as no surprise. To celebrate the launch of the set, LEGO Group spoke exclusively to Former NASA Astronaut Dr Kathy Sullivan who was there on-board during the Discovery mission.
“I was thrilled to see the space shuttle in LEGO form, and was very impressed by the amount of intricate detail they have managed to recreate from the module where we used to sleep and eat through to what we called the “milk stalls” on the telescope,” she said. “Looking at the model, it was great to reminisce about my experiences in space launching the telescope for the first time. Hubble is definitely the highlight of my career. This LEGO model is a great way for LEGO builders and space fans alike to get excited about space travel and learn more about the famous mission in a fun and engaging way.”
The new LEGO NASA Discovery and Hubble set is available April 1 and is part of the wider LEGO Go Beyond campaign. The new project aims to take fans behind the scenes of the great expeditions in human history.