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Lego Education will send astronaut minifigures to the moon with NASA's Artemis 1 mission

Lego Education will send four intrepid minifigures, including Kate and Kyle shown here, around the moon on NASA's Artemis 1 lunar mission in 2022.
Lego Education will send four intrepid minifigures, including Kate and Kyle shown here, around the moon on NASA's Artemis 1 lunar mission in 2022. (Image credit: Lego Education)

Four Lego minifigures are going to take a ride around the moon.

The characters "Kate" and "Kyle" from Lego Education's SPIKE Prime system, as well as "Julia" and "Sebastian" from the Lego City toy line, will ride as tiny crewmembers on NASA's Artemis 1 mission launching in February 2022.

The Artemis 1 mission will test agency's new Space Launch System megarocket and its Orion spacecraft on a trip around the moon, with the quartet of minifigures joining a crew of human avatars including a "Moonikin" and vest-wearing "dummies."

The minifigures also star in the educationally focused "Build to Launch: A STEAM Exploration Series (opens in new tab)," available now on the Lego Education website (opens in new tab) for parents, educators and students. The series includes 10 weeks of digital content about space and related topics in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.)

Just like any astronauts, the minifigures also have a set of six ground controllers that will support the spaceflyers. "Each Space Team minifigure represents a real-life counterpart, such as a command pilot Kate and mission specialist Kyle, to help students better understand the diverse roles, backgrounds, and skillsets within the Artemis I team," Lego Education said in a statement Monday (Nov. 8).

"Each minifigure will host episodes featuring their NASA counterpart, as well as interact with students and teachers who submit questions and share their learning experiences on social media using #BuildtoLaunch," Lego Education added.

Lego is a long-time provider of projects and minifigurines based on real-life NASA missions, including several generations of space shuttles and Mars rovers for kids, and a growing set of adult-style Lego builds featuring iconic hardware like the Hubble Space Telescope, the Discovery space shuttle, the Saturn V that took Apollo 11 to the moon, and the Apollo 11 Eagle lander.

In 2019, upon the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, NASA released a short guidebook (opens in new tab) to various collaborations between Lego and the agency as far back as the 1990s. "NASA and the LEGO Group have a long history of collaboration on projects that engage children and adults alike to encourage interest in STEM fields and space exploration," the agency said at the time.

If you're looking for new Lego space sets for your own budding astronaut, check out our Black Friday Lego deals for space fans. Our best Lego advent calendars guide is also filled with ideas to launch your holidays early.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.