Product Idea

Outer Solar System Explorers

A model of 6 of the spacecraft launched by NASA and the ESA to explore the worlds of the outer solar system. They include Juno, New Horizons, Cassini–Huygens, Pioneer 10/11, Galileo, and Voyager 1/2. Altogether, these spacecraft have orbited or performed flybys of all the planets of the outer solar system (including Pluto, which was still a planet when New Horizons launched).

The set also includes 8 unique minifigs: Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto; Giovanni Cassini, who discovered four of the moons of Saturn, and for whom the Cassini orbiter was named; Christiaan Huygens, discoverer of Saturn's moon Titan and namesake of the Huygens probe; and Carl Sagan, famed astronomer and designer of the pair of gold plaques that were sent into space aboard the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes; Urbain Le Verrier, who accurately calculated the position of the then-undiscovered planet Neptune—Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to have visited Neptune.

Also included are minifig versions of Galileo Galilei, and the Roman gods Jupiter and his wife Juno. Juno is, of course, the namesake of the Juno spacecraft, currently in orbit around the planet Jupiter, and Galileo himself is the discoverer of the four largest moons of Jupiter, and for whom the Galileo orbiter is named. The Jupiter, Juno, and Galileo minifigs are based on three LEGO minifigs (made of spacecraft-grade aluminum) which were sent into space aboard the Juno spacecraft.

Included with the models of Pioneer 10/11 and Voyager 1/2 are LEGO-fied versions of the golden plaques/records which were sent aboard the spacecraft, each including instructions to find Earth, and information on the human race, in case any of the probes are ever happened upon by some extraterrestrial intelligence.

I have been since I was a little kid, obsessed with space. I remember watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos on TV and being fascinated by the images of these far-off worlds, and the people who made those images possible. I've also always loved playing with LEGO, and creating new kinds of spaceships for my intrepid astronauts to fly in. I still love the creativity that LEGO inspires—endless possibilities, just like the universe we live in. Building these sets were a way for me to join my love of creating with my love of science, and to honor some of my personal heroes. Maybe these sets could help inspire more creative minds to enter the wonderful world of scientific discovery.

If not, they'll still look really good on a shelf.

Total parts: 1237