The successful landing of the Mars Curiosity rover last week has inspired people around the world. A few enterprising geeks at BattleBricks decided to immortalize it in LEGO form, and now a NASA designer named Perijove has posted instructions to make a more simplified version for those that don’t have unlimited LEGO resources.
The Mars Curiosity Rover successfully touched down last week 150 million miles away in the Gale crater. Its mission is to investigate the past and current habitability of the Red Planet. Like the real thing, the LEGO version has a “fully articulated arm, deployable mast, and a working rocker-bogie suspension system that allows the rover to climb over large rocks and keep all six of its wheels on the ground.”
Amazingly, the designer who posted the LEGO instructions is a mechanical engineer who worked on the real Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Speaking about his creation, he said: “I combined this first-hand experience with my LEGO hobby to create a LEGO model that was as faithful to the actual rover as possible in terms of accuracy, details, and mechanical function, while remaining at a reasonable size and cost. The primary purpose of this effort has been to contribute to the educational outreach for this incredible mission. It is my hope that this model encourages the public support that is integral to the continued development and exploration of outer space.”
Now you can create the unique suspension system that famously lowered the craft onto the planet’s surface. The LEGO version works the same way as the real one, with an offset differential mechanism, and it has proven to be very robust in its design. Download a PDF file with step-by-step instructions on how to build your own rover here.