Put Your Toys Away Or They’ll Catch Fire

That is JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa standing in the International Space Station with a Lego model of the International Space Station. Hipster mind asplode.

It’s an interesting story. NASA and Lego have a partnership to use Lego to get kids excited about riding aboard Russian or Chinese rockets space and technology. As part of that partnership, a model of the ISS was sent up on the last space shuttle mission, shortly before Astronaut Furukawa arrived. Using a glove box to keep the tiny pieces contained, he put together a 2-foot long model of the 360-foot long orbiting outpost.

The entire build was filmed. It stayed together about 2 hours then Mission Control ordered Furukawa to take it apart and store it. Why? The plastics that the Lego pieces are made of are more flammable in the oxygen-enriched atmosphere of the space station. So, when he was done playing with his toys NASA made him put them away.

The Lego model was sent up in sub-assemblies. It couldn’t be sent up already assembled because it would not be able to support its own weight in Earth’s gravity. Just like the real thing.

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[Image and Video Credit: NASA via]

  • I doubt this particular model would break under its own weight on Earth. During a rocket take-off however is entirely different matter. I will try to put one together myself and see what happens…

    Oh, and: "yo dog, I heard you like the space station…"