Dr. Sullivan was part of the shuttle’s STS-31 mission in 1990, which saw the Hubble Space Telescope deployed to Earth’s orbit – and serves as the direct inspiration for the new 18+ set. That makes her a prime candidate to introduce the new model to the masses, and offer some insight into what it was like to head beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
You can check out everything Dr. Sullivan has to say on 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery – and the real-life mission – over at LEGO.com, in an insightful interview filmed at Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry. As well as reflecting on her experiences aboard the shuttle, the former NASA astronaut discusses how the LEGO version compares to the real thing.
“I was thrilled to see the space shuttle in LEGO form, and was very impressed by the amount of intricate detail they have managed to recreate – from the module where we used to sleep and eat through to what we called the ‘milk stalls’ on the telescope,” Dr. Sullivan explained.
“Looking at the model, it was great to reminisce about my experiences in space launching the telescope for the first time. Hubble is definitely the highlight of my career. This LEGO model is a great way for LEGO builders and space fans alike to get excited about space travel and learn more about the famous mission in a fun and engaging way.”
The LEGO Group has also indulged in its favourite activity of commissioning a survey for the marketing around its new set, this time focused on the future of space travel. According to the results of that research, 72% of people reckon space exploration is ‘essential’, while just 13% believe we’ll find alien life in the next 30 years.
More than half of those surveyed, meanwhile, think that space tourism will be a thing within the next three decades. For her part, Dr. Sullivan said that barring a couple of potential pitfalls, getting people into space is certainly within the realms of possibility.
“The biggest barriers to space tourism in the next 30 years [are] the safety and costs elements,” she said. “If we can break through these the general public really could take a trip to space in the future.”
You can watch the entire interview with Dr. Sullivan at LEGO.com. For more on 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, check out all the specifics around its release, browse through the full suite of images, and explore how the set closely mimics its real-life counterpart.