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One Giant Leap For Tiny Plastic Mankind
January 25, 2012 12:57 PM   Subscribe

A pair of Toronto high school students sent a Lego man into space two weeks ago.

"Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both 17-year-old Grade 12 students at Agincourt Collegiate Institute in Scarborough used a helium-filled balloon to send the Lego man into space 24 kilometres above sea level two weeks ago. They were inspired to try their mission after watching a video of a balloon sent to near space (previously) by some Massachusetts Institute of Technology students."
posted by mhoye (31 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome.
.
.
.
Vertigo.
posted by Peevish at 1:03 PM on January 25, 2012


THAT'S SICK. HOW COULD THEY SEND HIM UP WITHOUT A LEGO HELMET AND OXYGEN TANK.
posted by nushustu at 1:03 PM on January 25, 2012 [36 favorites]


The Canadian flag protected him.
posted by Kabanos at 1:05 PM on January 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


That's incredible.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:05 PM on January 25, 2012


It's official. Canada now has a better manned space program than the US.
posted by brundlefly at 1:06 PM on January 25, 2012 [26 favorites]


Maybe this should be the next lego man they send up.
posted by Kabanos at 1:09 PM on January 25, 2012


Oh, Spar Aerospace, where are you now?
posted by stevil at 1:10 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


You'd think Bruno and Boots would have done this first (with the help of Elmer Drimsdale, of course).
posted by infinitewindow at 1:10 PM on January 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


I just read this from the link in the cat-in-a-plane thread. Pretty cool. I was really curious how they were able to figure out where it would land. Should have known there'd be an online calculator for that kind of thing.
posted by mannequito at 1:12 PM on January 25, 2012


Alas, not space.

The US definition of space is 50 miles above the surface, the international definition is 100km, based on the Kármán line -- where an object relying on aerodynamic lift would have to travel faster than the velocity sufficient to allow a ballistic orbit.

It is very cool that these kids did this, but it's not putting a minifig into space.

Which, of course, needs to be done. They have, however, made a stratospheric Lego, which is pretty cool. Now, they need to parachute him down.
posted by eriko at 1:14 PM on January 25, 2012


Minifigs have gone into space...sort of.

Well, the "sort of" is for the "minifigs" part, not the "space" part. These were aluminum figures, not plastic, and they don't seem to have any articulation.
posted by Legomancer at 1:18 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


At what payload mass does this become impractical? It seems to me that a balloon-assisted space launch would reduce the fuel requirement considerably.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:33 PM on January 25, 2012


They only sent him up there to build a Lego Canadarm for the Lego shuttle.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:33 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


(of a legit space ship, that is)
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:33 PM on January 25, 2012


You'd think Bruno and Boots Terrance and Phillip would have done this first.

FTFY.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:34 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


FUCK YEAH NERDS OF COLOR

my sacrificial barbienauts never made it to LEO either. *sadface*
posted by elizardbits at 1:39 PM on January 25, 2012


At 1:05 there's something white and blurry in the bottom left corner, anyone know what that is?

Also, is it infeasible to make a cage for a small, amateur rocket that would be lifted into the stratosphere by one of these balloons and then for it to shoot off to greater heights? The cost and planning would be crazy, but the idea is tantalizing.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:41 PM on January 25, 2012


At 1:05 there's something white and blurry in the bottom left corner, anyone know what that is?

The moon?
posted by crawl at 1:43 PM on January 25, 2012


heavy lift balloons have been proposed before as potential launch assists for much larger payloads (pdf), so sure, why not?
posted by elizardbits at 1:56 PM on January 25, 2012


Apparently there is a tiny space race between the Legonauts and the Playmonauts.

Bonus: Playmonaut in flight.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:00 PM on January 25, 2012


I find it helps to listen to some BoC instead of the supplied sound.
posted by scruss at 2:00 PM on January 25, 2012


I was so thinking of that vid when I was reading the story earlier today, scruss. It's all so awesome! [Cries]
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:13 PM on January 25, 2012


I assume the little gray smudge near the horizon that passes by several times while little man is floating at apogee is the moon? (See 1:02.)
posted by aught at 2:17 PM on January 25, 2012


As, yes, crawl also suspects. Preview scheview.
posted by aught at 2:18 PM on January 25, 2012


Anyone could have done this with a green screen and a copy of Final Cut Pro! WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
posted by usonian at 2:23 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kids today! are awesome
posted by argonauta at 2:42 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


aught: "I assume the little gray smudge near the horizon that passes by several times while little man is floating at apogee is the moon? (See 1:02.)"

It's also visible at 0:32. I wasn't sure if it was the moon or a lens flare at first, but it maintains position too well. It must be the Moon.

So, so cool.

But yes, not including a helmet and air tank is a huge missed opportunity.
posted by jiawen at 3:08 PM on January 25, 2012


That's not the moon, it's sound stage 14a on the Universal back lot.
posted by maxwelton at 4:08 PM on January 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


The best thing about this and the other similar videos is the colour blue. So many shades and so intense.
posted by episodic at 4:38 PM on January 25, 2012


16-y-o girl, accepted to MIT, sends her admission letter into space
posted by homunculus at 9:31 AM on February 5, 2012


coincidentally i drew cartoon cocks all over my rejection letter.
posted by elizardbits at 11:03 AM on February 5, 2012


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