Product Idea |

Philae, Comet Lander


Who is Philae?

Ten years ago, ESA launched the Rosetta Mission into space. On 12 November 2014, Philae woke up from his long sleep in space to fulfil a mission: Being the first ever man-made lander to land on a flying comet!

The Lego Model

For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by the unbelievable dimensions our universe offers us, and I was interested in the way of understanding it; You can only do it by zooming out to great distances and zooming into the smallest possible details at the same time.
That's basically what I wanted to give forward to the Lego Philae Model.  I wanted to include every single scientific instrument that is aboard the real Philae, while still maintaining an overall-look that makes you fall in love with space every time you look at Philae and remember his brave mission.
In the end, I built a model that actually includes every scientific detail - from APXS to SESAME - and keeps its look as close to the real Philae as possible.

Special building techniques

Philae did have quite some challenges when it landed on a comet, and thus, it seems just fair that Philae also gave some construction challenges to me. So let's start below:
The "feet" of Philae were actually the first things I thought about. I definitely wanted to include the small drills in the Lego Model, while not over dimensioning the feet themselves. In the end, as you can see in the pictures, I put a Lego Screwdriver into the hollow pins in the middle of each foot.
And what are feet when there are no legs? I wanted legs that can absorb the shock of landing. So, the main shock absorption works in the dark grey triangles you can see on each leg. However, I had to use an alternate leg design to make the absorption work, so the legs are the only part that differ from the real Philae.
To make the absorbers work a bit less "soft", I needed to connect the legs to each other not only in a triangle in the middle, but also in a hexagon outside. The 1 x 4 technic plates between the legs are there to distribute the shock on every leg, and to stop the legs from turning around.
Coming to Philae's main body, I had faced another challenge. Building an octagon structure in the front that not only fits, but is also stable and can hold the upper part of Philae well together. Again, I used technic bricks which - together with sloped 4 x 4 plates on the top and the bottom - solved this problem.
The last task was the backside of Philae where most of its science systems are. I really had quite some struggle to build rods that go down to hold the APXS module, and are crossed by other rods that connect to the turnable "Mupus" module. After a lot of trying, I eventually found out that thin rods actually are just as small that they can go between two technic rods. You can see this if you look closely at the right side of Philae's back. I am proud to finally present you the result of my work :)

Let's make this project happen together!

If you are also that convinced about Philae's brave mission, I am happy to see you hit that "Support" button, and also to leave comments below. We still have some time before we reach 10000 supporters, so please leave feedback and think of ways about how to make Philae look even more detailed. I will definitely read your comments and maybe your own ideas will be inside Philae in some time, too.

Video: (german, so activate the english subtitles)


Opens in a new window