As the real thing is currently exploring another planet that’s, on average, 140 million miles away from Earth, Lego has designed a new set that will give space geeks a more accessible way to explore the design and capabilities of the Mars Rover Perseverance and its sidekick, the Ingenuity helicopter.
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Two years ago, Lego delivered a similar love letter to space exploration with a lavishly detailed, 2,354-piece, plastic brick recreation of the Space Shuttle Discovery, which included a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope in its cargo hold. That model focused on accurately recreating the space shuttle’s aerodynamic design through the use of standard Lego bricks, but the new Perseverance model is instead built from Lego’s Technic components, so that it can recreate some of the rover’s actual capabilities. However, the exposed gears and other technical components left visible actually serve to make the resulting model look even more accurate.
It took engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory around four years to actually build the Mars Rover Perseverance, but at 1,132-pieces, Lego’s version is a relatively small Technic model and shouldn’t take you more than a couple of nights to completely build. When fully assembled, not only does the Lego Mars Rover Perseverance feature a moveable arm with a tool on the end for harvesting samples, but it also boasts adjustable “360° steering,” articulated suspension on all six wheels to easily navigate your disastrous dirty desk, and a replica of the Ingenuity Helicopter—although it doesn’t fly on its own.
Lego’s version of the Mars Rover Perseverance is completely imagination-powered, but when scanned using the Technic AR mobile app, the model will appear to come to life on a smartphone or tablet screen through augmented reality, while also providing additional information about “the real-life vehicle and its mission on Mars” and even what the weather on the Red Planet is currently like.
The Lego Mars Rover Perseverance will be available starting on June 1 for $100.