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  • Kiara Fabbri

    Written by: Kiara Fabbri Multimedia Journalist

  • Justyn Newman

    Fact-Checked by Justyn Newman Head Content Manager

Engineers at the European Space Agency (ESA) published a report last week about their experiment, which involves building LEGO bricks out of space dust to construct astronaut shelters on the moon. The experiment is also a part of NASA’s moon exploration program, Artemis, and the space bricks will be displayed in selected LEGO retail stores worldwide from June 24 to September 20 this year.

ESA engineers thought to experiment with designs inspired by LEGO because it’s especially useful due to its flexible, modular design, which allows for quick and easy testing.

However, the main challenge for lunar construction is transporting building materials from Earth: it’s expensive and time-consuming. That’s why the ESA used materials already available on the moon, called regolith. However, as one would imagine, there is not a huge supply of regolith on Earth.

Instead, the scientists used a substance as similar to regolith as they could find: a meteorite dust mixture. This was used to 3D-print LEGO-sized building blocks, which research indicates are particularly promising for scaling up to larger versions.

Beyond the science and construction aspect, this project also aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
“With the ESA team using the LEGO® System-in-Play to advance space travel, it shows kids the sky really is the limit when it comes to LEGO® brick building,” said Daniel Meehan, Creative Lead at The LEGO Group, in a statement.

Emmet Fletcher, Head of ESA’s Branding and Partnerships Office, echoed this sentiment, stating that “ESA’s space bricks are a great way to inspire young people and show them how play and the power of imagination have an important role in space science, too.”

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