June 18, 2013, 11:24 AM —
Image credit: Flickr/RLERDORF
My son isn't yet into space -- he's still more of a dinosaur type -- but he's tremendously into LEGOs.
That's why I was happy to stumble upon the news (courtesy of International Business Times) Tuesday that NASA's Curiosity Rover, currently exploring our neighboring planet Mars, is the inspiration for a new LEGO set.
While pricing and availability are unknown, you actually can build your own LEGO Curiosity using instructions provided by the guy who built it and won a LEGO contest against two other finalists.
He's Stephen Pakbaz, AKA Perijove, and he has a special connection to the real-life rover, according to the LEGO CUUSOO blog that details the Curiosity LEGO project and ongoing design contest.
"I am a Mechanical Engineer who worked on the actual Curiosity rover at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory," Pakbaz says on the blog. "I combined this first-hand experience with my LEGO hobby to create a LEGO model that was as faithful to the actual rover as possible in terms of accuracy, details, and mechanical function, while remaining at a reasonable size and cost."
Pakbaz says the "primary purpose of this effort has been to contribute to the educational outreach for this incredible mission. It is my hope that this model encourages the public support that is integral to the continued development and exploration of outer space."
The LEGO Curiosity creator has posted a bunch of pictures of his Rovers (he's built seven of them, which he's donated to various museums and organizations) on Flickr.