Back in August of 2011, The LEGO Group and NASA entered a partnership to stir the imaginations of our budding young scientists and astronauts into the importance of planetary research, by coming with the grand idea of sending a bunch of minifigures into space.
Since their launch aboard the spacecraft Juno five years ago, the said minifigures are now closer to Jupiter than ever before and is destined to sink into orbit next month on July 4, 2016. The said minifigures are unique in themselves because other than being constructed using aluminium, these minifigs serve the purpose of inspiring children to further explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Standing at 1.5 inches tall, which is the same size as that of any standard minifigs, these three ‘astrofigs’ took their inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology: the first being in the likeness of Jupiter while holding a lightning bolt in his hand, followed by Juno herself as the wife of Jupiter while she is holding a magnifying glass, and the astronomer Galileo Galilei depicted as holding his famous telescope and a replica of the planet Jupiter. He is credited for discovering the four satellites or moons of Jupiter, which was later on named after him as the Galilean moons. Once NASA’s Juno has accomplished its mission, it will eventually fall off to the heart of the giant gas planet and be destroyed together with the 3 minifigures.
Now before we get too upset about the idea of sending minifigures into space only to be destroyed afterwards, it might bring us consolation to note that Lego created two sets of figures specifically for the mission. One was a backup in case the first set broke. Juno’s Principal Investigator Scott Bolton says that he would love to see the said minifigs become commercially available in the future specially that next month marks the end of the journey of our brave astrofigs. As of to date, Bolton travels across the US conducting school tours together with the three minifigure backups to encourage students to pursue a career in space exploration.
So what do you think about NASA’s minifigures? Do you think it will be nice for LEGO to come up with a limited edition, collectible minifigs out of these replicas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Source: Daily Breeze