Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lego Space Shuttle Nearly Reaches Space [VIDEO]

NASA's storied space shuttle program may be history but ships are still making bold voyages into space -- at least, in Lego form.

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A Romanian man built a Lego space shuttle and sent it on a mission toward the stars. And the miniature craft nearly made it to space, reaching a reported maximum altitude of 35,000 meters, or about 21 miles. Its journey is documented in an amazing YouTube video.

"My name is Raul Oaida (from Romania) and this is my LEGO tribute to the end of the space shuttle era," a YouTube user who goes by the handle "vinciverse" wrote in the video's intro. The video was posted Friday and at time of writing had gained more than 81,000 views.

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Oaida affixed the Lego shuttle to a helium-filled balloon with a GPS and video camera attached. After launch, he followed the Lego shuttle by land in a car until the would-be spaceship left GPS range. The shuttle eventually landed about 240 kilometers, or 150 miles, away from its original takeoff point in Germany.

Oaida is Romainian, but said in a blog post that his home country had too much bureaucratic red tape to make conducting the feat from there practical. So he traveled to Germany, where authorities were apparently more receptive, to launch the mission.

"I've always been profoundly inspired by spaceflight," Oaida wrote, "the Lego Shuttle was the only space program I could afford."

NASA's space shuttle program ended after 30 years when the shuttle Atlantis concluded its final voyage last July. Luckily, with people like Oaida, its spirit of innovation and exploration lives on. Check out Oaida's entire video, complete with emotive music, below.

Thumbnail image courtesy of vinciverse

This story originally published on Mashable here.


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