Watch Astronaut Mike Massimino Build a Lego Mars Shuttle in Zero Gravity

In a new video, former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino takes Legos to a whole new altitude. Check it out above!

In zero gravity aboard Novespace's Air Zero G airplane, Massimino unboxed and built a NASA-inspired Lego set. "We knew it would be hard … so we enlisted a pro," the video reads as Massimino walks toward the plane. 

"Watch me unbox and build the new City Mars Shuttle while floating in zero gravity! Let’s get inspired and build our way to Mars one step and one brick at a time!" Massimino said in a tweet about the video. 

Former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino floats in zero gravity while building a NASA-inspired Lego set.  (Image credit: Lego/YouTube)

Once on the plane and in zero gravity, Massimino opened the set, the Lego City Mars Research Shuttle, and the pieces immediately went everywhere. Without gravity, the pieces were quickly flung to all corners of the cabin, floating all over the place. Massimino tried to grab the pieces quickly, but anyone who has ever built a Lego set knows that it can be difficult to keep track of the pieces — even with gravity. 

Related: Lego's Epic Apollo 11 Lunar Lander Set in Photos!

The Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit and gold visor that come as accessories with Lego's Mars Research Shuttle 60226 set.  (Image credit: Lego/YouTube)

With the Lego pieces floating haphazardly around him, Massimino picked up the building instructions and got to work putting the set together. Airplanes like the Air Zero G use what's known as the parabolic maneuver to create brief periods of weightlessness. 

In the video, when one of these weightless periods ends, Massimino is able to quickly gather Lego pieces before being lifted off the cabin floor once again. Eventually, Massimino was able to complete the build, and the assembled shuttle floated in zero gravity around the cabin. 

The Lego City Mars Research Shuttle is one of a series of new Lego space sets inspired by NASA's Moon and Mars programs. It includes two Lego City astronaut minifigures; 273 pieces that make up the shuttle, which has an opening cockpit; two doors; a storage drone; a helidrone; and a NASA-inspired Mars rover. The set also comes with accessories including a helmet with a blue visor, an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit with a gold visor, a scanner and a geode with blue crystals.

During his time as an astronaut, Massimino, who was the first person to tweet from space, flew two shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino is currently a professor at Columbia University and the senior advisor of space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. 

Lego City Mars Research Shuttle | $39.99 on Amazon

Lego City Mars Research Shuttle | $39.99 on Amazon

Explore the Red Planet in winged style with this 273-piece set inspired by NASA's moon and Mars exploration programs. The set features a shuttle, two astronaut minifigures, a drone helicopter and delivery drone.

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.