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LEGOs in Spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

collectSPACE - news - "LEGO figures flying on NASA Jupiter probe"

They have launched aboard the space shuttle, visited the space station, and flown to Mars. Now, three more "very special" LEGO figurines are set to fly to Jupiter with NASA's Juno spacecraft.

The specially-constructed LEGO Minifigures are of the Roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno, and "father of science" Galileo Galilei. The LEGO crew's mission is part of the Bricks in Space project, the joint outreach and educational program developed as part of the collaboration between NASA and the LEGO Group to inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

If you're wondering why they look so classical and funky, space.com explains:

The trio resemble the typical small toys that LEGO sells, but are made out of metal.

"They are basically the size of the normal LEGO figures which you will see, but they are made out of aluminum, very special aluminum and they have been prepared in a very special way," [Scott] Bolton [principal investigator for the Juno mission and space science and engineering director at the Southwestern Research Institute in San Antonio] said. "They are made out of a special space-grade aluminum. They have gone through all the testing to make sure that they fit on our spacecraft in a way that is like our other science instruments."

In other words, those are the most over-engineered LEGO minifigs you'll ever see, kids.

(photo credit)