Product Idea |

NASA Voyager 2 and Buildable Gas Giant Planets

The Voyager probes are among the first human made objects to leave our solar system. They represent the curiosity and the spirit of exploration of humans on the largest scale ever attempted. I remember when Voyager 2 flew by Neptune in 1989 when I was a kid. It amazes me that it is still going more than three decades later and is a symbol of what people can achieve together.

This project is a highly detailed model of the Voyager 2 space probe and the four Gas Giant planets that it visited. 

Voyager 2 Probe
The Voyager probe was packed with science instruments. This model captures the iconic dish and boom shape, detailing each instrument. A stand with a name plate supports the model and folds to display the probe at two different angles. The cameras swivel and rotate for optimal display. Together, the probe and stand are about 500 parts.

Grand Tour of the Planets
Voyager 2 had the rare opportunity to go on a Grand Tour of the Gas Giant planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The planets only achieve that alignment every 175 years! I modeled the four planets in two groups, in scale to each other and all at the same small size. TLG would likely choose either the large or small group for a production set. To form the spheres, I started with Bram's Sphere Generator, then adapted the shell to accommodate color patterns and necessary support and core structure. The scale planets and stands are about 3000 parts, while the small planets and stands are about 500 parts.

Modeling Challenges
I built this model to experiment with round shapes in LEGO. Could I build the probe's dish? How much detail is possible in a brick built planet? How could I model the rings of Saturn? I think the best LEGO models pack in a lot of details compared to their size and part count.

This is a great set because it offers interesting challenges to builders and it celebrates exploration and science. In truth, I made these for fun and my own love of space, science, and building with LEGO. If you share those passions and like my model, please consider supporting this LEGO Idea!

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