These Lego Ideas SLS rocket, Kerbal Space Program and 'The Martian' concepts are incredible, and we hope they get made

three different spacecraft made out of plastic bricks
Three separate space-themed Lego Ideas submissions (Image credit: Lego Ideas)

One of the best things about Lego is that anybody can pick up a handful of bricks and build something incredible.

With that in mind, the Lego Ideas program allows any Lego fan to design their own Lego set and upload it to the Lego Ideas platform. There, it can be viewed by the public, where it'll be voted on. If a set gets 10,000 votes, it'll go in front of a panel of Lego judges, who ultimately decide if it will be made into a real, boxed Lego set or not.

Thousands of set proposals are uploaded to Lego Ideas each year, but only a handful ever get made. It’s a tough business then, where rejection is the most likely outcome, but there are three space-based Lego Ideas sets at the moment which have truly caught our eye. Two of them have already reached 10,000 views and one of them is well on its way, so we have our fingers crossed that at least one of these sets might, one day, sit on our shelves as the real Thing.

Related: Best Lego space sets 2024: NASA sets, spaceships and more

Lego Icons Galaxy Explorer - was $100, now $87.49 at Amazon

Lego Icons Galaxy Explorer - was $100, now $87.49 at Amazon

Save 13% on one of the best space-themed Lego sets you can currently buy. Based on a classic space set from the 70s, the Galaxy Explorer is made up of 1,254 pieces... and endless nostalgia. It's close to retirement, too, so grab it at a discount while you can.

The Martian

Designed by Lego Ideas user Mr Sci-Fi, The Martian is the first and only set he's ever submitted to the platform. Submitted in December 2023, it's already garnered 3,879 supporters along with a coveted "staff pick" accolade. And with a year and a half left to reach 10,000 votes, we'd say the odds are stacked in Mr Sci-Fi's favor for reaching that all-important 10,000 milestone.

If you couldn't guess, the set idea is based on The Martian, the 2015 sci-fi movie starring Matt Damon. Along with its lone Mark Watney minifigure, it comes with a MAV rocket, a Mars rover and an artificial habitat where Watney grows a potato farm.

Those familiar with The Martian will appreciate little details included by Mr Sci-Fi: There's a calendar tally, where Watney keeps track of how long he's been on Mars, a laptop filled with disco music, and an airlock door that's held together with duct tape. We love seeing clever, intricate details like these in Lego sets.

Will The Martian get made into a proper Lego set? Right now, there's no way of knowing. It seems likely it will at least reach 10,000 votes, at which point it'll be assessed by a panel of Lego judges. You can add your own vote into the mix, and keep up with its progress on The Martian's Lego Ideas page

NASA's Space Launch System: To the moon and Mars

What's particularly cool about this Space Launch System set is that it's been designed by a 15 year old. Kansas-born William Butterworth — also known by his Lego Ideas handle, NASA RocketBuilder — first submitted the concept to the Lego Ideas platform back in August 2022. 

A year later, in August 2023, it had reached the 10,000 supporter milestone and it's currently in review at Lego. Along with 48 other submissions, it's being assessed by a Lego team for its eligibility to be made into a commercial set. &

Unsurprisingly, Butterworth says that his favorite ever Lego set is the Lego Ideas Saturn V, and it's not hard to see the inspiration here in the scale and design of the SLS, NASA's flagship rocket for its Artemis program. He's a lifelong NASA fan and so building a NASA-inspired model came naturally.

While we should find out the results of the review that Butterworth is a part of soon, it's hard to know whether it’ll be approved. Typically, Lego approves only one or two sets from each review wave. The Saturn V it's based on was indeed a Lego Ideas submission, which is promising, but Lego has had Artemis-based sets as part of its City range, so might not want to revisit the concept.

Read William Butterworth's 10K Club Interview on Lego Ideas to find out more about him and his set design. 

Kerbal Space Program - Modular Ship System

28-year-old Sam Haughton from Cornwall, England, is the designer of the Kerbal Space Program - Modular Ship System. Also known by his Lego Ideas handle Sam67c, he submitted the idea in May 2023, and by July he’d already reached 10,000 supporters. That's seriously quick business — and it’s currently in the same review batch as William Butterworth's SLS above. 

Based on the popular Kerbal Space Program video game, Haughton's set is designed to be modular, allowing users to design their own ship. There's a standard build, or designs of 40 other "mini builds" to choose from, giving a fantastic amount of customization. 

Interestingly, as Haughton explains in his 10K club interview on the Lego Ideas blog,  the original idea for the set came from him creating a short animation with Lego about Kerbal Space Program 2. After building all the parts he needed for his animation, he realized he had a potential Lego Ideas submission on his hands.

Clearly the target audience here is people who are fans of the Kerbal Space Program games, but even for those who aren't, it's clear to see the appeal. Building our own modular-style rockets sounds very neat, and with Lego not having anything comparable — unless you count its brand new modular space station — we'd say it has the potential to be selected as a real set. But we'll have to wait to find out for sure. 

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Kimberley Snaith
Freelance contributor

Kim is a Yorkshire-based freelance writer who focuses on Lego and video game-related content. She's the co-creator of and, where you'll find most of her work. If she's not building with plastic bricks, playing a video game, or writing about doing either of those things, you should probably check she's still breathing. You can find her on Twitter at @ichangedmyname.