As 2021 nears its end, space flight fans await February 2022 and the first (unmanned) launch of the Artemis program. This unmanned mission will send an Orion spacecraft on a trip around the moon. The journey will test these all-new space delivery systems in anticipation of carrying a manned crew. But “unmanned” doesn’t mean “unoccupied.” The Orion capsule will carry humanoid test dummies to simulate flight conditions and test for radiation. Extra “passengers” include astronaut minifigures from LEGO, a partner with NASA for promoting the Artemis program. Initial reports noted two minifigs for the mission. Apparently the number’s actually double.
Brick Fanatics reports that there will be four LEGO minifigures going up with the Orion spacecraft on Artemis 1. We already know two of them: animated characters who star in LEGO Education’s “Build to Launch” STEAM exploration series. Their names, if you recall, are Kate and Kyle. Now apparently, they will be joined by two astronaut minifigs from the main LEGO City theme. The names of the new additions: Julia and Sebastian. The quartet gets to follow in the space-flight footsteps of three aluminum-built minifigures aboard the Juno space probe. They reached their destination, the planet Jupiter, back in 2016.
LEGO looks to be harnessing their NASA partnership to synergize their upcoming space-flight LEGO City sets. We already covered the rumored Rocket Launch Pad (60351?) supposed to launch (product-wise) on March 2022. We have to wonder if Artemis 1 “astronauts” Sebastian and Julia are part of that set’s minifigure crew.