The International Space Station, or ISS for short, will soon become an official LEGO set you can buy in stores.
This is once again thanks to LEGO Ideas, a platform run by the company where fans can submit their builds with the hope of them becoming sets in the future, should they secure a showing of support from the community in the form of ten thousand votes.
The ISS, however, did not go through this process, at least not exactly. The specific build of the craft by user XCLD actually failed to make it through all the steps required to become a set, despite adequate amount of support from the community.
Luckily LEGO recently ran a tenth anniversary contest where four of these failed projects would have another chance by way of another round of voting. The ISS won here beating out this version of Stitch, a collection of classic Sega arcade machines and the sculpture known as “Small Yellow“.
The ISS received 10 438, around double that of second place Stitch at 5 739 votes. The ISS sucked up 45.6% of all votes.
The current incarnation of this ISS is made up of 843 pieces split across three subconstructions: the ISS itself (656 pieces), a detachable shuttle (51) and display supports (136).
The different parts of the build are meant to be modular so they can be arranged in any order, and it features smaller draws such as solar panels which can be moved in most directions to catch the sun.
If that all sounds interesting to you it’s worth noting that the look and size of the build may change drastically before release as LEGO’s internal designers now focus on turning the fan build into a mass production set that is sturdy enough for play, easy enough to assemble as well as cheap enough to be reasonable.
You can see a few pictures of the ISS, as it looks right now, in the gallery below.
Finally, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time LEGO has worked with the NASA licence, far from it actually. In the Ideas range alone there is 21309: NASA Apollo Saturn V, 21312: Women of NASA, and 21104: NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover.