LEGO® Minifigures on a Mission to Promote Space Research
Aug 03, 2011 6:00 pm
by Joe Meno
From Andrew Arnold, LEGO Community PR:
BILLUND, Denmark – Three LEGO® Minifigures leave earth on the Juno deep-space probe today on a five-year mission to Jupiter to broaden awareness of the importance of planetary research.
The specially-constructed aluminium Minifigures are the Roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno and ‘father of science’ Galileo Galilei. The LEGO crew’s mission is part of the LEGO Bricks in Space project, the joint outreach and educational programme developed as part of the partnership between NASA and the LEGO Group to inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The LEGO Minifigures will help get attention for Juno’s mission to improve understanding of our solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.
Juno and the Minifgures’ journey will be featured on http://www.LEGOspace.com, the website that gathers together educational and fun material about space. The site also houses a number of downloads, videos, a LEGOnaut game, and various facts about space exploration. Later this year it will also have videos of experiments conducted with LEGO Education models on the International Space Station.
In Greek and Roman mythology, Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief. From Mount Olympus, Juno was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter’s true nature. The Juno spacecraft will also look beneath the clouds to help NASA understand the planet’s structure and history.
Juno holds a magnifying glass to signify her search for the truth, while her husband holds a lightning bolt. The third LEGO crew member is Galileo Galilei, who made several important discoveries about Jupiter. He used a telescope to confirm the phases of Venus and discovered the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour). Of course, the minifigure Galileo has his telescope with him on the journey.
Juno and the Minifigures are scheduled to arrive in July 2016 and will orbit Jupiter for a year (33 revolutions) before crashing onto the planet’s surface.
Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.
Read more about the Juno mission and Jupiter here.