LEGO has confirmed the LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set will be made available in Malaysia on 1st April. The new set is a detailed recreation of the STS-31 mission launched in April 1990 and saw the orbiter Discovery and its five crew members deploy the Hubble Space Telescope into the cosmos. But do take note that the set is suitable for adults.
The set also pays homage to the pioneering moment in space history and marks the 40th anniversary since the first Space Shuttle flight on 12 April 1981. This was officially revealed by former NASA Astronaut Dr Kathy Sullivan who was part of the original NASA STS-31 mission, over 30 years ago, which launched the Hubble Telescope – capturing images of our universe, to help us understand more about the great beyond.
The LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is made up of 2,354 pieces and is amazingly detailed in true reflection of its full-size counterpart, complete with functional landing gear, and payload bay doors that open one after the other. The doors also feature reflective stickers to mimic the cooling radiators found on the real shuttle orbiter.
It’s not only the Space Shuttle’s exterior that is incredibly accurate, the interior from the upper flight deck down and through the mid-deck and out to the payload bay are sure to please both builders and space enthusiasts alike. The crew cabin features the five seats in their correct placement for the astronauts on the STS-31 mission, complete with flight and robotic arm (Remote Manipulator System, or RMS), control panels. Meanwhile the mid-deck contains the space shuttle’s storage lockers for necessities and mission equipment, space for the fifth crew member and the airlock to the payload bay.
The payload bay itself contains the Ku-band antenna for communications, cameras for the crew to monitor operations within the bay, and the RMS arm ready to grapple and release Hubble to carry out its mission.
The same attention to detail has been applied to the Hubble Space Telescope, with its hinged mirror housing just like the actual telescope and new gold foil solar arrays as well as a realistic, reflective, metallic silver design. The telescope can be stowed in the payload bay ready to be connected to the RMS arm for deployment just as it was on mission STS-31. Alternatively, it can be displayed separately from Discovery, as if orbiting in space on its all-important mission, documenting the stars and our universe.
Milan Madge, LEGO Set Designer commented “The Space Shuttle is the most complex vehicle ever made, so as you can imagine, translating this into LEGO was an exciting challenge. 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. Add functional landing gear and you have a real puzzle. This was without a doubt the most challenging part of this model – trying to couple the front and main landing gear without removing any space from the payload bay and without compromising the structure of the model. My favourite part of the set is the tiny blue seats that carried 5 human beings away from their home planet on a mission that allowed us to discover parts of the universe never seen before!”
To celebrate the launch of the new LEGO® NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, the LEGO Group also spoke exclusively to Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan to reveal details of her experience onboard the original NASA STS-31 mission and how the real-life space shuttle compares to the LEGO model’s detailed reimagination of the spacecraft and famous Hubble Space Telescope.
Dr. Kathy Sullivan said, “I was thrilled to see the space shuttle in LEGO form, and was very impressed by the amount of intricate detail they have managed to recreate from the module where we used to sleep and eat through to what we called the “milk stalls” on the telescope. Looking at the model, it was great to reminisce about my experiences in space launching the telescope for the first time. Hubble is definitely the highlight of my career. This LEGO model is a great way for LEGO builders and space fans alike to get excited about space travel and learn more about the famous mission in a fun and engaging way.”
In the fascinating interview, which is now available on lego.com/gobeyond, Dr. Kathy Sullivan reveals details about the incredible mission, which launched the Hubble Space Telescope into the cosmos – enabling NASA and scientists around the world to explore more of the universe than ever before. The interview also delved into Dr. Sullivan’s thoughts on encouraging more young people into STEM careers and the future of space exploration.
LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set is available across LEGO Certified Stores and LEGOLAND from 1st April 2021 and will be priced at RM799.90.