DIY Space: Build a LEGO NASA Satellite

If you buy enough Legos, you can build all four of these! Image from NASA.

The stacked “hockey pucks” in the picture above have something in common with the site’s latest HEO lesson.  However, they are also LEGO models you can build.  In this case, the model is of a NASA satellite that hasn’t been launched yet.  The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft model shown on NASA’s very own website looks a little like a blue hockey puck, with antennas sticking out.  Students put this video together to show some of the detail and effort they put into the MMS design.

The PDFs and Excel files of parts lists and directions are available on the NASA site.  If you have the money, you can always buy the kit.  But if you’re more choosy (and still have money), you can always go to LEGO’s “Pick A Brick” site.  Or maybe you have all the parts already.  You can then reference the numbers on the supplied PDF/Excel files and select the bricks you need.  To build the stack of MMS spacecraft in the picture, you’ll have to shell out the coin thrice more.

LEGO has sure come a long way since I was a kid.  I remember trying to build star destroyers with my meager collection of bricks as a child.  It didn’t look as nice as the ones in kits now, but in my mind, it was AWESOME.

Then, after you’ve read through the NASA MMS site, maybe you can tell me what the MMS spacecraft has in common with the HEO lesson?

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