What Will the Next LEGO Space Set Be?
21st February 2022
Over the last couple of years LEGO have released several space themed sets aimed at the older builder, which have been a mixture of their own designs, and fan-made designs submitted through the LEGO Ideas Program. The first of these was the NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander, which was released as a Creator Expert set in 2019. This was followed by the NASA Apollo Saturn V and the International Space Station, both Lego Ideas set that came in 2020, and last year we were given the fantastic NASA Space Shuttle Discovery from the Creator Expert range. It should also be mentioned that the Ulysses Space Probe was available to buy for VIP members in April 2021, although many were unable to do so.
Lego has a long-standing relationship with space, which first began in 1978 with the launch of the classic Space theme. Since then, a whole host of subthemes that have come and gone, such as Space Police, Mars Mission, Unitron, and Ice Planet to name but a few.
A lot of AFOLs have very fond memories of these sets, which were central to many galactic battles fought out on living room and bedroom floors. For me personally, I spent hours creating alien conflicts with the UFO sets and being amazed that I was lucky enough to have been gifted the Monorail Transport Base.
Since the introduction of the Space theme, LEGO have always had some kind of space-themed set available. The Discovery theme, which was a standalone theme of 6 sets all released in 2003, included a range of real-life space exploration vehicles. These were:
- Lunar Lander
- Saturn V Moon Mission
- International Space Station
- Space Shuttle Discovery-STS-31
- Mars Exploration Rover
- Mission to Mars
The first four of these have a close resemblance to the four recent adult builder space sets, and it looks like these have acted as a blueprint for these later sets. If the recent release schedule is anything to go by, we can expect at least one more space set from LEGO this year.
A new Mars Explorer Rover set looks like a very likely candidate, especially given that there were two Mars Rovers used in NASA’s Mars Explorer Rover: Spirit and Opportunity. The 2003 set depicts Spirit, which was active from 2004 until 2010, while Opportunity, which was active from 2004 until 2018, hasn’t yet been created in LEGO form. Opportunity is a great looking vehicle so we will keep out fingers crossed and update if we hear anything more to substantiate this rumour.