In 1978, Lego launched the first sets in the line of space toys, almost after a decade Apollo 11 mission landed on the Moon for the first time. Since then, the lego designer has been constantly releasing sets featuring spaceships, astronauts and lunar bases, including detailed sets that draw on the hardware from real space missions.
Recently the Verge has spoken with Lego designer Simon Kent, he explained that he and his colleagues currently visited with NASA engineers and personnel to compare their toys against the real spaceships, rovers, and space stations currently in operation today. He further elaborated that space is such a big theme that the company can tap into various ways, whether it is playing like a lego city or a display model that goes into the fine details of the spacecraft’s design, like the recently-released Apollo 11 Lunar Lander.
Kent noticed that over last four decades, Lego has been exploring many corners of the universe, from more fantastical sets about aliens, space police, or martian colonists, to more some of the more realistic sets that he and his team are responsible for with the company’s Lego City sets. He says that in 2019, they are carrying out this tradition with more than one real picture of what space agencies like NASA are thinking of doing in the near future.
The company latest releases include some fairly realistic-looking playsets, there is a deep-space rocket and mission control, a modular space station, space shuttles, a rover, and more. These sets are not exactly like what NASA fielded about the various private companies. There is some sort of artistic twist that the company has put on these themes, where they don’t want to focus necessarily on the pasts, they precisely want to be relevant and future-looking. So the company is looking into launching new technology into space in the next few years.
The design for the sets has started out with a timeline for what might be coming in the next few years. Plus the vehicles out there are manufacturing something similar. Kent said that they want to support the stories that kids hear at school or in the media about space agencies like NASA the European Space Agency of SpaceX.
Moreover, Kent and his team recently visited NASA in order to collect some information and inspiration for their latest and upcoming sets, looking at its facilities and some of the projects that they were working on. Kent also noted that the trip will yield some cool insights that would allow them to make some of the real stuff. One example, on the Deep Space Rocket and Launch Control, set they included a small vehicle with four, independent wheels, inspired by an experimental rover.
After learning that white paints add a lot of weight to a rocket, opted to change the color to orange to show that it’s unpainted