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LEGO® Space Bricks: Building the Future with Inspiration from the Past

Updated: Jun 28


LEGO Bricks are Out of this World!

Inspired by the LEGO® system in play, scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) have used dust from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite to 3D print bricks similar to LEGO bricks, to help design astronaut shelters on the moon.

ESA Space Bricks: A Galactic Endeavor

In a groundbreaking initiative, scientists at the ESA have turned to their love of LEGO brick building when designing launch pads and shelters for astronauts visiting the moon as part of the Artemis program. To test whether space materials could be used to create structures, the team 3D printed bricks with meteorite dust to see if they could be used as building blocks on small-scale versions of structures.

lego space dust bricks

These ESA Space Bricks will be displayed in select LEGO Stores in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, and Australia, plus the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, from June 24th to September 20th 2024, to inspire the builders of tomorrow on how LEGO brick building can help solve out-of-this-world problems.

From Space Dust to Building Blocks

lego esa space brick

The real structures will be built on the moon using materials found there. The space material on the moon is regolith, but with only a very small sample available on Earth from the Apollo mission, the team turned to meteorites. They ground up a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite, mixed it with polylactide and regolith simulant, and used this to 3D print bricks similar to LEGO bricks, creating the ESA Space Bricks. The meteorite, discovered in North-West Africa in 2000, is technically classed as a L3-6 brecciated stone, containing various elements such as large metal grains and chondrules.

A Creative Approach to Space Travel

ESA Science Officer Aidan Cowley explained, “Our teams are working towards the future of space travel and take inspiration from not just what’s above us, but also what we can find on Earth. No one has ever built a structure on the moon, so we have to work out not only how we build them but what we build them out of. My team and I love creative construction and had the idea to explore whether space dust could be formed into a brick similar to a LEGO brick so we could test different building techniques. The result is amazing and, while the bricks may look a little rougher than usual, the clutch power still works, enabling us to play and test our designs."

Inspiring the Next Generation

Daniel Meehan, Creative Lead at The LEGO Group, notes the real-world impact LEGO bricks can have outside of creative play and says, “We recently found out that space remains an area of huge curiosity with 87% of Gen Alpha kids interested in discovering new planets, stars, and galaxies. With the ESA team using the LEGO System-in-Play to advance space travel, it shows kids the sky really is the limit when it comes to LEGO brick building and we hope it encourages children to have a go at building their own space shelters!”

See the ESA Space Bricks

Following their crucial role in developing potential future infrastructure on the Moon, 15 ESA Space Bricks will go on display in select LEGO Stores globally to help encourage kids to find out more about space travel and be inspired to build their very own moon shelters. The ESA Space Bricks will be on display from 24th June to 20th September.

To learn more about the ESA Space Bricks and explore the exciting range of LEGO Space sets, visit the LEGO Site.

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