LEGO is going back to space! The LEGO Group has officially announced the release of 10283 NASA Discovery Space Shuttle, in the 18+ range, and it looks spectacular!
Containing 2354 pieces, available from 1st April 2021, this set will set you back US $199.99 / DE €179.99 / UK £169.99 / AU $299.99. Not cheap for the Aussies.
This set is really exciting. Designed by LEGO Designer Milan Madge (known for designing 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay), the shaping is stunning and there are some really nice features too. Functional landing gear, openable payload bay doors, functioning elevons and rudder, plus the additional Hubble Space Telescope can be folded up and loaded in the payload bay.
The insides of the doors also have reflective stickers, just like the cooling radiators on the real deal.
The back of the shuttle shows off the launch engines and the smaller re-entry and manouvre engines either side.
The cockpit contains five seats for the astronauts, using what looks to be a new element – a 1×1 SNOT bracket with 2 vertical studs. This should prove to be a nice addition to the element range.
A secondary build in the Hubble Space Telescope is also included, with the reflective surface, solar arrays and hinged mirror housing. I am loving the looks of this set! This points back to the original NASA STS-31 mission, when the Hubble telescope was launched into space.
To celebrate the launch of the set, LEGO was able to interview Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan about her experience on the STS-31 mission, and how the set compares to the real deal.
Not only that, but VIPs will be able to purchase an exclusive item with their VIP points – the Ulysses Space Probe (1800 VIP points) the Discovery launched this in 1990 on a mission to scan the Sun.
More images are below, plus the press release.
GO BEYOND WITH THE NEW LEGO® NASA SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY SET
22nd March 2021: Launching today, the incredible new LEGO® NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set brings the wonder of space exploration back home! Ideal for adult builders, the new set is a detailed recreation of the STS-31 mission launched in April 1990 and saw the orbiter Discovery and its five crew members deploy the Hubble Space Telescope into the cosmos. Ever since, Hubble has shared wondrous images of deep space, leading to breakthroughs in astrophysics and space exploration.
The LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is made up of 2,354 pieces and is amazingly detailed in true reflection of its full-size counterpart, complete with functional landing gear, and payload bay doors that open one after the other. The doors also feature reflective stickers to mimic the cooling radiators found on the real shuttle orbiter.
At the rear of Discovery is housed the three main engines used for launch into orbit. These are flanked on either side of the tail by smaller engines designed for in-orbit manoeuvres and for deorbit and re-entry into the atmosphere at the end of the mission. The flight control surfaces on the back edge of the wings and tail then are used to control roll, pitch and yaw as an airplane does. The tail’s rudder serves as a speed brake to assist in landing control and rollout on the runway after touchdown.
It’s not only the Space Shuttle’s exterior that is incredibly accurate, the interior from the upper flight deck down and through the mid-deck and out to the payload bay are sure to please both builders and space enthusiasts alike. The crew cabin features the five seats in their correct placement for the astronauts on the STS-31 mission, complete with flight and robotic arm (Remote Manipulator System, or RMS), control panels. Meanwhile the mid-deck contains the space shuttle’s storage lockers for necessities and mission equipment, space for the fifth crew member and the air lock to the payload bay.
The payload bay itself contains the Ku-band antenna for communications, cameras for the crew to monitor operations within the bay, and the RMS arm ready to grapple and release Hubble to carry out its mission.
The same attention to detail has been applied to the Hubble Space Telescope, with its hinged mirror housing just like the actual telescope and new gold foil solar arrays as well as a realistic, reflective, metallic silver design. The telescope can be stowed in the payload bay ready to be connected to the RMS arm for deploy just as it was on mission STS-31. Alternatively, it can be displayed separately from Discovery, as if orbiting in space on its all-important mission, documenting the stars and our universe.
Milan Madge, LEGO Set Designer commented “The Space Shuttle is the most complex vehicle ever made, so as you can imagine, translating this into LEGO was an exciting challenge. In the real vehicle every inch of space is used in ingenious ways. Generally, in a LEGO model we can rely on the size to accommodate the structure that holds the whole set together, but on the Discovery Space Shuttle we needed to create a smooth exterior and an interior capable of holding the payload. Add functional landing gear and you have a real puzzle. This was without a doubt the most challenging part of this model – trying to couple the front and main landing gear without removing any space from the payload bay and without compromising the structure of the model. My favorite part of the set is the tiny blue seats that carried 5 human beings away from their home planet on a mission that allowed us to discover parts of the universe never seen before!”
Once complete the set also comes with stands and information plaques, allowing you to display your creation with pride.
In addition, VIPs will be able to purchase an exclusive item with their points; a Ulysses Space Probe, available for 1,800 VIP Points, which the Space Shuttle Discovery also deployed in 1990 on a mission to scan the Sun. Limited stocks available.
LEGO® NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set is available directly from LEGO Stores and LEGO.com from 1st April, 2021