Space Age Lego: These Bricks Are Made From Meteorite Dust – Decrypt

Inspired by Lego building block sets, researchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) are using 3D printers to create Lego-style “space bricks” out of meteorite dust.

The purpose of the project is to determine if soil on the Moon, substituted in the project by the meteorite dust, can be used to build facilities for future astronauts.

“The surface of the Moon is covered with a layer of rock and mineral fragments known as lunar regolith,” the ESA wrote in a blog post. “This material could be used to make space bricks. The only problem was that there’s not much lunar regolith available on Earth to experiment with.”



Like their much smaller cousins, the ESA’s space bricks click together like traditional Lego bricks. Using the finished space bricks, researchers are then able to stack the pieces together to create a variety of structures, giving the ESA the flexibility to try out a variety of designs.

“It was both fun and useful in scientifically understanding the boundaries of these techniques,” ESA Science Officer Aidan Cowley said in a statement.

Looking to drive interest in the project, the European Space Agency is partnering with Lego to display the space bricks in select stores to inspire kids to build their own Lego Moon base.

Space Bricks in a case
Image: The European Space Agency

“It’s no secret that real-world scientists and engineers sometimes try out ideas with Lego bricks,” Head of ESA’s Branding and Partnerships Office Emmet Fletcher said in a statement. “ESA’s space bricks are a great way to inspire young people and show them how play and the power of the imagination have an important role in space science, too.”



The European Space Agency did not immediately respond to requests for comments from Decrypt.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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