Thirty nine years and forty nine weeks ago, a little bit after tea time, we witnessed the launch of the first Space Shuttle, Columbia. The era of ‘shirt sleeve space flight’ and reusable orbiters had begun. Ten years and 10 days later, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed from the space shuttle Discovery. Finally, on April 12 2011, thirty years after the launch of Columbia, the Shuttle Atlantis flew the final Mission.
The program caught the imagination of 12 year old me, culminating in many doodles, dreams, and the occaisional MOC. If only I could find the picture.
So, this month, we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the first Shuttle launch; the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope deployment; and the 10th anniversary of the final flight of Atlantis.
And the LEGO Group have released a huge new version of the Space Shuttle Discovery – over 55 cm long, it comes with moving rudder and elevons; opening pod bay doors and carries the Hubble space telescope. With 2354 pieces, it is quite a step up on the 7470 from 2003.
And there have been dozens of versions of the shuttle from across the years, and you might also consider that the early LEGOLAND® Spacecraft in the late 70’swere also inspired by it: The Shuttle program was already in the public consciousness, with atmospheric tests occurring with the Shuttle Enterprise for 4 years before the first lauch of Columbia in 1981.
Here are a few examples that have appeared in town, Technic, and indeed the Creator Expert line. I have chosen to ignore the ‘Bat Space Shuttle’ from 2016.Continue reading