Yesterday, humanity and science achieved another massive milestone with NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully touching down on the Red Planet as part of the Mars 2020 mission to find evidence of extra-terrestrial life, and pave the way for samples to be sent back to Earth in subsequent missions.
Perseverance builds on the success of Curiosity, using a similar design and landing system which is superbly cool – check out the animation of the landing sequence from NASA above.
While this is a massive celebration and triumph of engineering, science and space exploration, what caught my eye was LEGO’s flurry of social media activity surrounding the Perseverance landing.
While it’s not unusual for LEGO’s Social Media account to reference real-world events like Biden’s inauguration poet Amanda Gorman, the flurry of social media activity does suggest that there might be something up.
Here’s some reasons to believe that we might get a LEGO Mars Perseverance model imminently.
Popularity and rarity of the LEGO Cuusoo Curiosity Rover
21104 Curiosity Rover was released under LEGO Cuusoo (now LEGO Ideas) in 2014, and is now one of the most sought-after LEGO Ideas sets, with new sets easily going for up to US$400 on Bricklink.
Given that Perseverance’s design is similar to Curiosity, and how sought-after 21104 is, I can imagine that there would be a lot of pent-up demand in the market by both LEGO, NASA and space enthusiasts for a follow-up set.
This would allow LEGO to release a new NASA Mars Rover for those new to LEGO who might have missed out on the first release. The fact that Curiosity and Perseverance are close cousins is also a very handy coincidence.
NASA and LEGO’s close partnership
The Apollo 11 Saturn V (also an Ideas set), is one of LEGO’s best models released in modern times, and was recently brought out of retirement in late 2020 with a new set number.
That said, there have been a few rumours floating around that we’ll get a Space Shuttle this year (it’s the 40th anniversary of the Space Shuttle launch), which will probably be a closer fit to the Saturn V and Lunar Lander.
Add the Women of NASA set to the mix, and LEGO’s recent Space-exploration City subtheme from 2019, and it seems that LEGO’s NASA Partnership is going incredibly well, given they have very similar aspirations to inspire and educate children with the love of science and technology.
C’mon LEGO, there’s a lot of smoke here, so please just unveil the Perseverance.
I believe we’ll start seeing many more mid-range LEGO sets in 2021 (priced like the Bonsai Tree and Flower Bouquet), and the Perseverance would be a great way for adults, parents and kids to get excited about science and space exploration.
The Perseverance also has some really neat features such as a helicopter – Ingenuity which if successful, will be the first powered flight on an alien planet, which would translate pretty well into LEGO.
That said, all this chatter on social media could just be misdirection for a Life on Mars reboot…. which I wouldn’t mind.
That said, that’s enough speculation and theorycrafting for one day!
Let me know what you think, and if you’d love to see LEGO produce a set based on the Perseverance Rover!