LEGO and space: a potentially volatile combination

Via collectSPACE:

Yet another posting about LEGO in the news. This one is an interesting story about JAXA flight engineer Satoshi Furukawa, who assembled a 60-cm long replica of the International Space Station (ISS) out of LEGO (part of a LEGO-NASA collaboration program) while on the ISS. Of course this story is really engaging because it involves space exploration, international participation, LEGO, ridiculously complicated working conditions, and flammability concerns.

The specially designed model provided by LEGO had to be assembled in a glovebox containment enclosure, using thick rubber gloves.

Like, the real ISS, the finished model could only support iself in microgravity:

"It's a solid model but I believe it can't bear its own weight under gravity," Furukawa said.

After recording some educational videos, the model had to be put away due to flammability concerns:

Fire is usually not one of the warnings that people find on the side of LEGO boxes.
"It's a little hard to comprehend, but there are flammability concerns about the LEGOs," Fossum said.
For Furukawa, he had his hands full just working with the enclosure without having to worry about it combusting.


No concerns about LEGO flammability on Hoth! (LEGOLAND California, 2011)

Get your own LEGO space-themed set on Amazon, and put it together using heavy rubber gloves:
- LEGO Space Center 3368
- LEGO Space Shuttle 3367
- LEGO Space Moon Buggy 3365
- LEGO Satellite Launch Pad 3366