LEGO has announced the release of its model of the International Space Station. The International Space Station, or ISS, has been a fixture in Earth’s orbit for over 30 years and has hosted residents of several countries since the year 2000. The LEGO model has shrunk the football-field-long space station to the size of desktop display, while still preserving details such as its rotating solar arrays and robotic arm.
The set includes 864 pieces and measures over 7 inches high (20 centimeters) , 12 inches long (31 cm) and 19 inches wide (49 cm). In addition to the space station itself, the set comes with enough brinks and parts to build a space shuttle orbiter and three cargo vehicles, all to-scale with the sation, and a display stand. Also included are two microfigure-size astronauts.
The LEGO ISS toy set was first announced in June 2019, after it won a fan poll in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the LEGO Ideas website. The space station received 45 percent of votes cast in a competition against three other possible sets. The release celebrates the past two decades of continuous astronaut occupancy, with LEGO adding NASA’s “ISS 20 Years” logo to the back of the set’s box.
This will be the third International Space Station created by LEGO, but only the second version of it to be made available to the public. The first model, created in 2003, was a Discovery Channel-branded set that reproduced the space station in its still-under-construction configuration, and contained 162 bricks. Later, under an educational partnership between LEGO and NASA, astronaut Satoshi Furukawa assembled a LEGO-designed model of the complete space station while onboard ISS. But that model had a major limitation: it could only be built in the weightless environment of space. The model would have collapsed on Earth, under the normal pull of gravity.
The new ISS toy set will be available at LEGO stores and the LEGO website on February 1, 2020.
Sidney Fraser is an American transplanted to a new life in London, where she explores fannish and geeky places, events and creations, which she relates in the continuing True and Proper Adventures of Sidney Fraser.