10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is the latest detailed LEGO set inspired by real life space exploration, recreating the STS-31 mission launched in April 1990. The shuttle allowed the orbiter Discovery and its five crew members deploy the Hubble Space Telescope.
There will be a special item in the VIP Reward Centre, with the Ulysses Space Probe available for 1,800 VIP points. Given how quickly these things sell out, fans who aim to add it to their collection will want to act quickly.
UK Price: £169.99
USA Price: $199.99
Piece count: 2,354
Release date: April 1
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The model includes functional landing gear, payload bay doors and reflective stickers depict the cooling radiators. Other authentic touched include the engines, with three main engines for launch and smaller engines that are used for in-orbit manoeuvres.
Inside there is a crew cabin with the five seats for the astronauts, the flight and robotic arm (Remote Manipulator System) control panels and the space shuttle’s storage lockers.
The set also builds the Hubble Space Telescope, with its hinged mirror housing and new gold foil solar arrays. It can be stowed in the payload bay ready for builders to recreate its deployment.
‘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,’ said LEGO Model Designer Milan Madge.
‘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.’
‘I was thrilled to see the space shuttle in LEGO form, and was very impressed by the amount of intricate detail they have managed to recreate from the module where we used to sleep and eat through to what we called the “milk stalls” on the telescope,’ said former astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan. ‘Looking at the model, it was great to reminisce about my experiences in space launching the telescope for the first time. Hubble is definitely the highlight of my career.’