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21104-Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover

LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
edited June 2013 in Collecting
New CUUSOO set announced:
blog.lego.cuusoo.com
Best part is, LEGO Portal is still possible!
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Comments

  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    As I once said, The Portal concept doesn't fit much into Lego. I mean, it's a great game, but how are you going to play with it? Are they going to give you a companion cube and a character with a gun, and you are supposed to move the character between two walls?

    I can't see people playing with that. And for display... meh, unless they give you a test chamber to build, which is actually pretty dull by itself, and not a good display piece.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,769
    I know the mission is on-going but they have missed this one by a year. Last year, all that free publicity. This year, out of sight out of mind.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,650
    edited June 2013
    CCC said:

    I know the mission is on-going but they have missed this one by a year. Last year, all that free publicity. This year, out of sight out of mind.

    If LEGO had producted their own model ready to go when the Curiosity story was live then it would have been nice and topical, and showed LEGO to have their finger on the pulse. As a model at any other time, however, it's a stunningly safe and uninspiring selection, like Shinkai and Hayabusa in fact. LEGO are hardly pushing boundaries with these, are they ? I'm no fan of Minecraft, but at least it showed that LEGO are willing to tread new ground.

    yys4uprincedravenLegoFanTexas
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    Don't fancy the Curiosity Rover at all. How much space lego do we need?, to choose a space set under the Cuusoo banner does feel very safe. Remember we have already had Mars Mission & Life on Mars themes!, not sure how they sold?
  • Captain_EyebrowCaptain_Eyebrow Test Valley, somewhere between Brickset Towers and Narnia . . . .Member Posts: 155
    I suspect that my avatar gives away my allegience on this discussion . . . . . . . .

    Curiosity is still making headlines with its discoveries and its not even made it to its prime target yet. It's predecessor Oppotunity is still making the news with its work way after its primary mission has ended. Whilst I'm not saying that its going to be the top story on the news very often (unless conclsive proof of life on Mars is found) for people interested in the science and the exploration this is a very interesting project.

    Whilst I enjoy all of the space themes that have come out over the years I think there is plenty of room for LEGO projects like this one, sometimes science fact is just as fantastic as science fiction.

    If story behind this rover could help to inspire just one child to become an explorer, scientist, engineer or similar than it will have accomplished much more than its primary mission. If a LEGO set helps to inspire that as well then bravo.

    I also voted for the USC Sandcrawler although I did not seriously think it would enter production, 10144 is on permanent display in my study and I'm afraid I'm not familiar on Portals.

    So I'll be buying a rover, putting it next to Hayabusa and the Shuttle Adventure.
    PerijoveLegogeek
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Hey all.

    I've just seen this for the first time, and having just gone to the Space Centre in Houston, I love this rover set. Also awesome is the descent stage and sky crane.

    Has anyone BLed these models? If so, would you mind letting me know what I price range I could expect if I purchased all the parts from BrickLink? I'm not certain, but it looks as though all three models by @Perijove use interesting and possibly rare-ish (therefore expensive) parts. I'd love to know a ball-park before I start the tedious process of sourcing all the parts on BL.

    Thanks!

    BTW, @Perijove, these are really awesome models, and at a great scale for display + playability. Nice work, mate, and congrats on the Cuusoo project!
    Perijove
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 114
    Thanks @bkpr. I BLed a few rover models back when I donated some kits to museums and other educational outreach institutions. I think the cost per kit averaged around $50-$60, which I guess isn't too bad when getting parts for a 300+ piece model from third parties.

    The rarest part in my model is probably the 42446 minifig neck bracket, in white. It only appeared in an older X-Wing set #4502. The part used to be a little cheaper, until I posted my instructions. You'll notice that the model shown in the CUUSOO announcement video used grey brackets instead of white. As they work on designing the final model, they'll probably make more in the correct color or come up with an alternate solution. Some of the dark orange bricks in the baseplate are less common, but are not critical to the rover and you can just create your own unique landscape.

    In response to some of the other comments, while there are a lot of space sets out there, they have mostly been based on science fiction. The only recent sets based on real spacecraft have been #10231 / #10213 Shuttle Expedition/Adventure and #21101 Hayabusa. The real shuttles (while awesome) have been retired for a while and the Hayabusa mission ended three years ago, but LEGO still saw fit to produce sets for them and I'm glad they did

    Before that, was the Discovery theme, in 2003, which was ten years ago. There are kids today in LEGO's target age group who weren't even born when these awesome sets came out. I wanted to show that real spacecraft can be just as cool as those in science fiction. Of course, this model won't appeal to everybody, but I'm sure it will inspire a few young future scientists and engineers, which was my goal.



    LegoKipLegogeek
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 672
    The rationale for killing the Sandcrawler project is that it's based on a current license. Didn't LEGO and NASA have a relationship in the last few years?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,153
    edited June 2013
    I think that Cuusoo was meant for those to come up with sets that not only matched a certain theme, but also due to its design too.
    As LEGO knows that most people may like 'actual' space stuff like probes and rovers I'm not surprised they green lit it. It seems Cuusoo wants one off non-minifig sets that are neat but are forgotten about as quick...
    They are Meh to most of us because they are not in the traditional fold of what we are used to, but could very well be bought by a parent or a child for educational purposes..
    I am more surprised the BTTF Deloren is being made more than any of these 'scientific' models
    Perijove
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,922
    GIR3691 said:

    The rationale for killing the Sandcrawler project is that it's based on a current license. Didn't LEGO and NASA have a relationship in the last few years?

    The rationale for killing the Sandcrawler is that it's based on a current license with Lucasfilm, a company that probably puts way stricter regulations on the companies it enters into license agreements with than NASA does. Especially since a partnership with NASA is not the same as a license agreement, considering NASA is a government agency rather than a for-profit company.

    The Space sets a couple years back did not have NASA branding, and the partnership with NASA was primarily a promotional/educational partnership, with NASA using the LEGO brand to educate kids about space exploration and LEGO tying in their LEGO Space web content with educational content generated by NASA.
    Perijovecaperberry
  • USMCYodzUSMCYodz Member Posts: 93
    I think it is interesting they numbered it #005 and the Minecraft is #003. What happened to #004? Maybe Portals is #004 and they are waiting on licensing or something else? That would be my guess
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,769
    BTTF
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 114
    Number 004 is the #21103 BTTF Time Machine. Hopefully coming out late July or early August if the rumors are true. I can't wait to get a few for myself!
  • LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
    @Perijove Great job on the accomplishment, the Rover has great design and shows quality. If LEGO doesn't totally redesign it, which version will we be seeing? BTW, it'll be on my shelf soon.
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 114
    LegoRocco said:

    @Perijove Great job on the accomplishment, the Rover has great design and shows quality. If LEGO doesn't totally redesign it, which version will we be seeing? BTW, it'll be on my shelf soon.

    Thanks! I'm not quite sure what you are referring to in your question. There is only one version of the rover on my project page on the CUUSOO website.


  • LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
    @Perijove I was referring to the Sky Crane model
    Perijove
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,650

    Curiosity is still making headlines with its discoveries and its not even made it to its prime target yet.

    Still making headlines ? I'm hardly a hermit, and yet I've heard nothing since last year's blaze of publicity. LEGO should have had their Curiosity model ready to go last year when it was news....

    Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of the 2003 Discovery sets and own them all (I also love pretty much anything else space-related that LEGO releases); if LEGO decided on a 10-year update of the Discovery sets then that'd be fine by me - I'm sure I'd buy those too. My beef is that 3 of the 5 confirmed Cuusoo slots so far (Shinkai, Hayabusa and now Curiosity) are now filled with 'safe' choices which LEGO might be expected to have released themselves. That doesn't sound like the Cuusoo brief to me, unless "Make a safe suggestion that we might have released ourselves on another day" has become the new Cuusoo mantra....
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 114
    edited June 2013
    @LegoRocco. Ah, yes. The project was mostly about the rover by itself. I got a lot of requests for the Sky Crane so I posted pictures and digital model files for those interested in building it. The Sky Crane is much more complicated and delicate than the rover and I don't expect CUUSOO to include it in the final model, but they're certainly welcome to add it if they want.
  • LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
    @Perijove Thanks for the quick info!
    Perijove
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,769

    Curiosity is still making headlines with its discoveries and its not even made it to its prime target yet.

    Still making headlines ? I'm hardly a hermit, and yet I've heard nothing since last year's blaze of publicity. LEGO should have had their Curiosity model ready to go last year when it was news....

    Yes, it would still sell to space fans now, but not the the parents of little Timmy that happened to watch that thing on TV about that Mars landing thing and say it was really cool and they need to get him a birthday present.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,082
    ^ Surely there will be publicity each time it does something, or finds something? Rather like Spirit and Opportunity kept popping up in the news every few months or so.

    Don't forget that it's not yet a year into its mission, which has already been extended indefinitely from the original two-year plan. There's plenty more news to come from it, so don't worry about that!
    Perijove
  • OUWxGuesserOUWxGuesser Member Posts: 92
    The Sandcrawler is amazing, but c'mon- 10000+ pieces plus all of the special bits? What would the MSRP be on that? $1k? I'm sure this was the limiting factor on whether it was going to proceed. I bet Curiosity will sell several magnitudes more units than the Sandcrawler.
    Perijove
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,082
    edited June 2013
    ^ you're right, personally I think the ideal piece count for a Cuusoo set to get made is about 350 - 500, with a price point around the £30 - £45 mark.
    Perijove
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    Aanchir said:

    GIR3691 said:

    The rationale for killing the Sandcrawler project is that it's based on a current license. Didn't LEGO and NASA have a relationship in the last few years?

    The rationale for killing the Sandcrawler is that it's based on a current license with Lucasfilm, a company that probably puts way stricter regulations on the companies it enters into license agreements with than NASA does. Especially since a partnership with NASA is not the same as a license agreement, considering NASA is a government agency rather than a for-profit company.

    The Space sets a couple years back did not have NASA branding, and the partnership with NASA was primarily a promotional/educational partnership, with NASA using the LEGO brand to educate kids about space exploration and LEGO tying in their LEGO Space web content with educational content generated by NASA.
    Not to mention that the stated reason why something wasn't passed is almost always not the only reason, or even the primary reason.

    In the case of the Sandcrawler, the size and likely pricepoint would just have easily killed this prospect, even if LucasFilm said yes to it. In order to hit a size and pricepoint that would be practical, LEGO would have to shrink the model down to near the size of the original 10144. At that point, everyone hates it because it isn't even close to what they voted for.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,769

    ^ Surely there will be publicity each time it does something, or finds something? Rather like Spirit and Opportunity kept popping up in the news every few months or so.

    Don't forget that it's not yet a year into its mission, which has already been extended indefinitely from the original two-year plan. There's plenty more news to come from it, so don't worry about that!

    I'm sure it will pop up on the news, but not have what appeared to be continuous coverage like at launch and especially on landing on Mars. For many the exciting bit has come and gone. The rest is "just" science.
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    ^ I saw a news story on one of the rovers this week, I think it may have been Opportunity. I feel like they've been popping up every couple of months.
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 114
    @Jenni, there was a recent story of Opportunity approaching the record for farthest off-planet drive. It also found some clay minerals indicating water flowed through the area.
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    @perijove It was the clay minerals. Thanks :).
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    I saw an article on Sky News about the clay, said that they are analyzing minerals that are 4 billion years old.

    My thoughts.... Do they make these dates up??

    How in the world can they date a piece of rock on Mars like that? And how accurate is that? Is that to within a billion years?

    Just all came across as complete sensationalist rubbish in the article.
    MARS may have been HABITABLE, possibly, but we don't really know.
    "This clay proves there was water on Mars once AND, it was drinkable!" What!?!
    Seriously, so not only are the rocks 4 billion, give or take a billion, years old, but the water which there is none of now, you can tell was drinkable...

    Maybe I am not reading the right articles and there is some scientific basis for these claims, but so much of what is reaching the general public seems like it is either pre-faced with 'suggesting', 'potentially', 'could have', etc.. leading me to believe it is just to make headlines.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    On another note, I quite like the idea of the Rover as a model if it is accompanied with a 'Architecture' style booklet so that it can be educational.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,461
    Was this the one that crashed into Mars?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Nice enough model, seems to be exactly what CUUSOO is for. It does seem to be out of date already (not withstanding the occasional news article) for a real impact and will be even more so by the time of release. Compared to Minecraft and BTTF I can't see it being particularly popular, which may come to change their vision of what a good cuusoo project is.

    As others have said, I have a feeling that portals is being kept over to excuse neither of the next batch going forward. The mascot is awful (and should be used to quash any idea that just because something gets to 10,000 makes it a desirable product) and the space troopers thing is too close to galaxy squad so surely TLG won't take that one. Presumably TLG are looking at the minecraft numbers and thinking that Portal could follow suit, if they can do/get around the custom parts and sort out a licence.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,082
    edited June 2013
    @princedraven I'm no scientist, and I'm sure that Sky took some liberties with the information, but there will be scientific basis for the claims.

    For example, we know the rough age of the Earth because of techniques such as carbon dating and measurements of radioactive decay. (basically, every radioactive element decays into simpler elements over a period of time. that period of time is different for each element, is known and is consistent. The time taken for half of the sample to decay is known as the half-life. So if you know how much of the element you have, what the half-life is, and a few other factors, you can work out roughly how long it's been there for).

    We can extrapolate the age of the Earth to Mars and the other planets (and indeed the Sun) because we know that they formed at the same time. There are real scientific explanations for how we know that, but again, I'm not a scientist, so unfortunately I can't give them to you.

    Regarding proving that water was once on Mars, I don't know for certain, but I would postulate that the chemical makeup of water (H2O) will have an effect on certain substances, of which the clay/soil is probably one, and the rover will be able to detect this effect through analysis of the clay. It's like soaking paper in water then drying it out - you'll still be able to see by looking at it afterwards that it's been soaked in water at some point, even though it's now dry.

    More to the point, the bonds between atoms will have been changed by the water, and this means that not only would it look different, but that if it was analysed at a molecular level (as I think the rover can do), those changes would show up there too.

    Even more to the point, because we can test here on Earth what changes water (and other substances) have on clay or rock etc, the rover will most likely be able to compare the results it gets to results from tests here on Earth, and arrive at the conclusion that Sky News reported :)

    EDIT:: Also, by definition, water is drinkable. Well, technically oil is drinkable, but you know what I mean! ;) Water can be filtered so that it is drinkable by us, whether it is mixed with salt or dust or whatever.
    PerijoveprincedravenT_Lars
  • LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
    @Cheshirecat Couldn't agree with you more here. Hopefully we'll get a printed brick in the Portal set that says, "The Cake is a Lie!"
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,769
    I seriously hope they didn't use carbon dating to get to 4 billion years. It only works up to about 50,000 years, since the approx 5000 (5730+-40) year half-life of C14 is too short to go beyond that.

    If something is 50,000 years old then it is ten half-lives. So a sample would be expected to contain (1/2)^10 of the C14 it started with. If something is only 20,000 years old, then it is four half-lives so can be expected to contain (1/2)^4 of its starting C14. These are different enough to be able to tell apart. But half a million years is already 100 half-lives, whereas a million is 200 half-lives. Can we tell the difference between (1/2)^100 and (1/2)^200? No. So you'd need to monitor an element with a much longer half-life.

    It also assumes that the ratio of C14/C12 in the atmosphere is constant over the time period you are measuring. This is thought to be a just about reasonable approximation for up to 50,000 years, but not going back millions. Although there is evidence that going back just 3000-5000 years is enough to start to get errors due to variations in the atmospheric ratios. So for you longer half-life, you need to approximate that the concentrations have been constant for a significantly long time. Which is why these sort of estimates are just that. Estimates, based on assumptions which may be valid, or maybe not.

    And then there is the approximation that radioactive decay is truly exponential, especially for atoms with very long half-lives. This is a debate that is currently going on in the literature (such as here http://iopscience.iop.org/0295-5075/97/5/52001/).

    Of course, carbon dating is accurate enough to prove that creationists are wrong based on their really quite short timescales - that, or just about the whole of science is wrong.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,082
    edited June 2013
    ^ Oops, I think I worded that wrong. A better wording would have been 'similar to carbon dating' rather than 'such as carbon dating'. As I said, I'm not a scientist...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,769
    edited June 2013
    ^ yes, it would require something similar but different. I know uranium-->lead dating in minerals such as zircon is a popular technique for dating rock formations. Uranium having two different forms with very different half-lives (100s of millions of years vs billions of years) is also useful, since it can provide a cross-check.

    I always see things like this a bit like the results of historical digs on timeteam. There is evidence based science there, but then there is a bit/lot* (delete as appropriate) of intuition from experts based on other similar systems. Then when the news story gets picked up, they treat it as fact, and not evidence based speculation which is often the best a scientist can do. And most scientists will tell you the approximations they make, it is just that sometimes they get glossed over by reporters if the story is good.
    princedraven
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,082
    Yup, the media don't like uncertainties and grey areas. Unfortunately for them, life is full of grey areas - and I don't just mean the insides of an unopened SSD box!
    andhebricksanTheLoneTensorPerijoveLegoFanTexasjasorBuzzsaw
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Chiming in with a rough cost to build the rover + sky crane + stand by @perijove. Using non-scientific or computer-aided methods to search on Bricklink, I paid ~US$160–180 for all the parts (including postage/shipping), from 10 different sellers. In addition to some other bits and pieces purchased (e.g. completing my collection of the five classic space dude colours :), I ordered some small pieces to make the Mars terrain more detailed and rocky, and some 30208 in chrome gold to replace the white spheres and hopefully add a realistic space-tech look.

    Just in case you can't tell, I'm pretty excited by this model and can't wait for all the parts to arrive and get stuck in. It looks like such a technical, fiddly, and clever build, just the way I (apparently) like 'em.
  • PerijovePerijove Member Posts: 114
    @bkpr Please post pics when you're done, if you take any! I thought about using those chrome-dome pieces for the hydrazine fuel tanks. I agree that they would look fantastic, but I didn't have enough in my own collection. I also wanted to try to stay away from parts that are no longer in production when I posted the model in order to make things a little easier for others. Happy building!
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Yeh, good reasoning. I've looked at a bunch of high res images/renders of the sky crane and it looks as though the spherical parts (balloons?) are crumpled silver Space Material™ so I thought that part would do the job nicely. And given that it's chrome, I expected it to be much more expensive than it was (~70c used) so that was nice surprise.

    I will definitely upload pics once I'm done.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Congrats to @Perijove - good job getting approved! I hope it does well for you.
  • DevastatorDevastator Member Posts: 66
    I can't wait for this set to come out. I got to work with JPL for a while. They almost put scientific equipment my lab developed on the rover. I think it's a great idea (for a Lego product) and hope we can see more things along this line in the future.
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Not sure if I'm hijacking this thread — let me know if I am…

    I've built 98% of @Perijove's rover, and all of the descent stage and sky crane stand. I just wanted to say these are awesomely technical builds. A lot of fun and so much SNOT I had to build them with a box of tissues (haw haw) (The front radar section of the descent stage is particularly great!)

    I hope LEGO keep the rover as close to the original design as possible.

    I screwed up somewhere in the BrickLink ordering and don't have enough parts to complete the wheels so I've ordered the remainder + a few extras to customise the wheels to attempt a closer representation of the actual rover, namely doubling the width of the wheels (and adding black rims), and also giving it a crack with a bunch of these "wheels" in black (won't drive as well, but as a display model I think it'd look more accurate).

    Again, sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, just super-impressed happy with this model.
    Jennicaperberry
  • The_MackThe_Mack Member Posts: 239
    edited June 2013
    The fact that Portal isn't out of the picture completely, gives me hope. What kind of hope? I'm not sure. I know Valve is supportive of things like this so I'm sure it's not with the licensing. Maybe it could be something bigger? Maybe LEGO is starting to get the picture that there is an untapped market with associating LEGO with video games. Look at what Minecraft did, Portal could be just as big. Both of those games have big cult followings. As long as the games are family friendly, I don't see why LEGO wouldn't want to head in that direction.
  • LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
    ^Exactly what you mentioned. CUUSOO was made so that we could see different types of models. We already have a popular gaming set, but is another necessary?
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    I don't think it's whether they're necessary but whether they're popular.

    The thing is that they're the sorts of things that non-Lego buying gamers would buy as one offs to sit on their desk net to their computers which means as The_Mack suggested, there's probably a large market there.

    I have a friend studying Physics who is going to buy the Curiosity Rover set but that is entirely uninterested otherwise in my Lego collecting. I think the thing with Cuusoo is that it helps create products for people that wouldn't normally buy Lego rather than just simply produce sets for people who would've bought some existing Lego sets anyway.
  • skeet318skeet318 Banned Posts: 375
    Pictures of the surface aren't my thing. Mount a big drill to one of the rover droids and let us see what's underneath.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    Much of the same as what's on top, but more of it.
  • skeet318skeet318 Banned Posts: 375
    edited July 2013
    Xefan said:

    Much of the same as what's on top, but more of it.

    Believe that's all, do you?

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