Lego launches a new series of construction toys themed around NASA’s Artemis program just in time to coincide with the first mission.
The toy company recently unveiled the first two of their NASA-inspired Lego City Space sets with hints of more on the way. The new Rocket Launch Center and Lunar Research Base are scheduled for release on March 1, 2022.
After several delays, NASA is now seeking to launch its Artemis 1 lunar mission in March or April.
“Lego City Space toy play sets come with feature-rich models inspired by real NASA machines, vehicles and spacecraft, plus inspiring astronaut figures for imaginative, open play based on real space missions,” Lego wrote on its website.
Related: How NASA’s Artemis lunar landing with astronauts works
The Lego City Rocket Launch Center includes a mobile launch tower and a rocket similar to the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift booster making its first flight on Artemis 1. The Lego rocket, which has NASA “meatballs” and “worms” “logos just like the real vehicle, it’s more than 16.5 inches high and 4 inches wide (42 x 11 cm).
The set also includes an observation dome and firing control center, plus a service vehicle and drone. The Lego minifigures that come with the Rocket Launch Center set include scientists, technicians and two astronauts who look like the four minifigures that fly to Lego Education on the real Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft.
The Rocket Launch Center with 1,010 parts (set # 60351) sells for $ 149.99.
The Lego City Lunar Research Base is “inspired by NASA’s Artemis base camp concept,” according to Lego boxing art. The set includes 786 plastic blocks to build a lunar lander, a dome-shaped housing module with laboratories, a garage, airlock and six astronaut minifigures.
The lunar lander loosely resembles SpaceX’s Starship Human Landing System (HLS), which NASA chose to deliver the first astronauts to the moon’s south pole.
The kit also includes the parts for building a VIPER rover, based on NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, the agency’s first lunar mobile robot. The real VIPER is scheduled to be delivered to the moon in late 2023 by Astrobotics Griffin Lander as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
Lunar Research Base (Set No. 60350), which when built measures 5 inches high, 15.5 inches wide and 10 inches deep (13 x 40 x 25 cm), costs $ 119.99.
The boxing art for the research base also points to another set coming soon, a moon over. The as yet unannounced set (No. 60348) is shown to be able to connect directly to the base to facilitate the transfer of astronauts (minifigures) back and forth.
“Combine this set with others from the Lego City Space toy series for non-stop space fun,” Lego promotes on its website.
At least one other set in the series has been teased in a German toy catalog, Lunar Space Station (60349), which appears to be based on NASA’s Gateway, a human-care outpost to be built in the lunar orbit.
The Lego City Space toy kits continue a partnership between NASA and Lego that promotes the space agency’s exploration programs while encouraging interest in science, technology, technology and mathematics (STEM). Past Lego sets have celebrated NASA’s Apollo lunar missions, space shuttle and space station programs, and future plans to land astronauts on Mars.
Check out Space.com’s best Lego space deals guide for more space building options.
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