Lego reveals space shuttle Discovery set featuring Hubble Space Telescope

Once described as probably the most advanced flying machine ever constructed, comprised of greater than 2.5 million transferring components, now you can assemble your individual mannequin of NASA’s space shuttle utilizing simply 2,354 items.Lego on Monday (March 22) revealed its new NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set, which not solely replicates its full-size counterpart in wonderful element, however does in order it was configured for one among its most well-known and historic missions: the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.”I always liked that combination of very compact, almost miniature, but very elegantly detailed, and I think that’s exactly what the Hubble model within this set reminded me of,” astronaut Kathy Sullivan stated in an interview with Inside Lego’s new NASA Space Shuttle Discovery setMore: The finest space Lego units and offersAnd she would know. Sullivan flew as a mission specialist on Discovery’s STS-31 mission in 1990, giving her a entrance row seat for the deployment of the observatory.”I hadn’t known what to expect in terms of how large Discovery would be,” Sullivan stated about her first time seeing the brand new Lego set. “It’s about like two feet long. It’s really very impressive size.”Designed with grownup builders in thoughts, the Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery packs lots of element into that two-foot (0.5 m) bundle. The touchdown gear deploys, the management surfaces on the wings (elevons) transfer and the payload bay doorways open to reveal the reflective radiators, the Canadarm robotic manipulator, the Ku-band antenna and even video cameras for the “crew” to watch the actions outdoors.”Translating this into Lego was an exciting challenge,” Milan Madge, who led the design of the set for the Denmark-based toy firm, stated in an announcement. “In the real vehicle, every inch of space is used in ingenious ways. Generally, in a Lego model we can rely on the size to accommodate the structure that holds the whole set together, but on the Discovery Space Shuttle we needed to create a smooth exterior and an interior capable of holding the payload.”Designed for grownup Lego followers, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is sort of two ft lengthy and is made up of two,354 items. (Image credit score: Lego)It isn’t just the cargo bay that opens. The crew cabin opens to disclose the flight deck with the orbiter’s management panels and crew seats. Below that, the middeck consists of the crew’s tools lockers and the airlock main into the payload bay.”And for all I know, Bruce [McCandless] and I are represented inside that airlock, which is where we were stuck when Hubble was deployed,” stated Sullivan with amusing. “So I leave it to the intrepid modeler to determine if there are two spacesuited figures locked inside that airlock just like there were on Discovery on the day of the deploy.”Sullivan was additionally stunned to seek out that the mannequin options not solely the vertical stabilizer- or tail-mounted velocity brake, but in addition the elevons, the management surfaces on the orbiter’s wings.”A lot of people look at the trailing edge of the shuttle’s wing and think of it as the traditional elevator like you see on the backend of an airplane’s wing,” she stated. “On the space shuttle, it’s a combination of an elevator and an aileron, called an elevon. And so I thought, let’s see if they got the elevons right — they operate opposite each other. And indeed they got that right.”Related: Lego’s International Space Station mannequin is out of this worldAstronaut Kathy Sullivan, who flew aboard space shuttle Discovery, holds Lego’s new set modeled after her STS-31 mission. (Image credit score: Lego)”And you don’t have to just manhandle the elevons. In a very clever twist. you can twist the center main engine bell and that will rock the elevons back and forth,” stated Sullivan.The identical consideration to element was given to Lego’s mannequin of the Hubble Space Telescope, which may both be positioned into Discovery’s payload bay or displayed by itself included stand.”Though this is a little bit of an anachronistic [detail], they’ve got the grapple fixture on the aft end that was put on by the final servicing crew,” stated Sullivan, whose e-book “Handprints on Hubble” particulars the historical past of the space telescope, in addition to her personal story. “You can also see they’ve represented the lens if you look in the front end of it. It’s just really super.”The crew module may be opened to disclose each the flight and mid decks on the Lego Space Shuttle Discovery.  (Image credit score: Lego)Produced in celebration of the upcoming 40th anniversary of the primary space shuttle mission, the Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set will retail for $199.99 when it goes on sale on April 1 at Lego Stores and on the set, members of the Lego VIP loyalty program may even have the ability to redeem 1,800 factors to obtain a Lego mannequin package based mostly on one other of Discovery’s payloads: the Ulysses space probe. Also deployed in 1990, Ulysses’ main mission was to check the Sun.In addition, starting on April 18, Lego shops nationwide will show actual pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope which were translated into LEGO type.Click by way of to collectSPACE to see extra photographs and video of the brand new LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set.Follow on Facebook and on Twitter at @collectSPACE. 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