Retro NASA Space Tourism Posters made from LEGO Bricks are a Space Nerd Must-Have

In 2016, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA debuted a series of absolutely gorgeous 80s-inspired posters promoting ‘space tourism’. Designed as collectibles that space nerds and enthusiasts could just admire and print on their own, the file formats were (and still are) available on NASA’s website, with the title “Visions of the Future”. LEGO Master Builder John Carter decided to build a few posters of his own… using LEGO bricks. “There are so many iconic tropes in the science fiction mythology… I’ve decided to depict three of them in a style of classic posters and book covers from the 80s. The idea was to keep the same visual style with different colors for each tale and to present the scenes in minimalistic fashion,” he said.

The display set comprises three pieces that tell a cohesive story and provide ample room for customization. Each image is self-contained, allowing you to showcase your preferred one individually. Alternatively, you can exhibit all three together, creating a stunning arrangement that looks fantastic on both walls and bookshelves.

The three posters depict specific scenes of space exploration. The first envisions lift-off, looking at a rocket making its way for the sky, the second, shows the terrain of a planet with two lunar satellites, a rocky terrain, and a tiny rover exploring the surface, while the third captures the grandeur of a meteor shower with observation stations pointing at the falling comets.

This collection comprises three identical-sized images measuring 10.4 cm x 14.7 cm, constructed in a uniform manner. The lower portion of each picture showcases the surface and atmosphere of a celestial entity, while the upper section depicts the sky above it.

At the rear of every image, there is a framework of Technic lift arms that links the topmost layers with the bottom ones, guaranteeing that the model remains intact in all situations, even if it falls from a considerable height.

“I believe the set would make a lovely addition to any space geek’s collection (be it LEGO, SF books, or movies collection ) and fits well into the existing LEGO portfolio at the intersection of art and space themes,” Carter suggests.

The “Tales Of The Space Age” series was unanimously selected by the LEGO community to be turned into a retail box set, which is now available on the LEGO website.

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LEGO and NASA collaborated to design this stunningly realistic and functional Perseverance Mars Rover replica

I’m not sure what’s more impressive – whether the fact that the Perseverance Rover mission cost NASA a whopping $1.08 billion dollars, or whether LEGO Technic managed to make a functional version of the rover with just 1,132 bricks, and a price tag of $99.99. Launched (not literally) in collaboration with NASA, the LEGO® Technic™ NASA Mars Rover Perseverance model measures a little over 12 inches long, and features 360° steering, a movable arm, and a fully articulated suspension system that lets the rover travel across uneven surfaces on all 6 wheels. Designed as a STEM toy to help children get excited about the prospect of space engineering and travel, the rover also comes with an AR experience that lets kids explore the rover and its red-planet home in full detail.

Designer: LEGO

Just like most LEGO Technic builds, the Mars Rover Perseverance model is a pretty well-detailed build, featuring precisely designed pieces that come together to make the rover’s intricate design. Standing at 9-inches tall, the Rover is adjustable, can move on any sort of terrain (making it perfect for playing around on a desk), and even comes with the miniature Ingenuity helicopter, which accompanied the rover to Mars.

“Working on this model has been both challenging and exciting” said Luke Cragin, Designer at the LEGO Group. “I’ve always felt passionate about space, and the design process let me explore my interest as I recreated the incredible engineering developed by the pioneering team at NASA. We hope the model’s features and functions will help introduce young space lovers to the world of engineering and encourage them to reach for the stars in the future.”

The brick-based rover model will also be accompanied by a holistic AR experience on the Technic app, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore fascinating and informative material that delves into the actual rover and its purpose on the red planet. “Through the app it’s also possible to pull an overview of the weather on Mars on demand or learn about the environment and the rover’s mission,” LEGO says. The LEGO® Technic™ NASA Mars Rover Perseverance model goes on sale starting June 1st, with a $99.99 price tag.

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NASA-themed Apple Watch bands add a wonderful space-geek touch to your smartwatch

A health-monitoring watch that looks inwards now also acts as a symbol of looking outwards…

With seven different NASA-approved designs to choose from (along with 20+ watch faces to match), MobyFox’s Apple Watch straps are far cooler than any Nike or Hermes strap you could ever buy. The straps, made from sweat and UV-resistant silicone, feature a variety of graphical elements surrounding NASA’s rebranding over the ages, including the iconic meatball and worm logo styles. The strap-loop also has the year 1953 printed on it, marking the day NASA was first founded.

Designer: MobyFox

Click Here to Buy Now

The collection of straps is designed to work with every single Apple Watch model, all the way down to the Series 1 to even the SE and the Ultra. Choose your watch model during checkout and the strap ships with 2 sets of connectors to accommodate both 38/40/41mm and 42/44/45 mm case sizes as well as Samsung and other smartwatches with a 22mm pin.

To access the 20+ watch face designs, all you have to do is download the MobyFace app onto your iPhone (the app is currently limited to just iOS) and scan the QR code inside the box that the strap shipped in. Scanning the code instantly adds a perfect space-inspired touch to your Apple Watch display, letting you choose between photos of famous astronauts, iconic NASA photographs, or a personal favorite, images shot by the James Webb Space Telescope!

The straps, which are cheaper than Apple’s own Watch Straps, make for the perfect accessory for anyone who loves everything space and extra-terrestrial. The various styles range from regular to vibrant and graphical, catering to everyone’s tastes. They’re durable, come with their own cleaning/maintaining instructions (just soap and water does the trick), and have a universal one-size-fits-all design for your wrist.

Click Here to Buy Now

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The Citizen CZ Smart YouQ smartwatch uses NASA and IBM technology to ‘predict’ your fitness

Dubbed the ‘Smarter Watch’, the CZ Smart doesn’t track you through the day… it anticipates your day in advance.

Watchmaking pioneer CITIZEN just revealed its latest offering at CES this year – the CZ Smart watch + the YouQ app, designed in partnership with IBM Watson and NASA Ames Research Center. While looking just like any premium watch, the next-gen CZ Smart’s true functionality is unlocked when combined with the YouQ app that gathers, parses, and learns from the data provided by the smartwatch. The watch comes in a variety of styles, sporting CITIZEN’s iconic design with a rotating bezel, a crown and two pushers sitting beside the circular display, and the ability to swap between leather, silicone, mesh, and link variants.

Designer: CITIZEN

“The latest CZ Smart watch is a game-changing product that brings CITIZEN’s legacy of watchmaking together with best-in-class research and technology of NASA and IBM, directly to wearers’ wrists,” said Jeffrey Cohen, President at CITIZEN Watch America. “Coupled with the proprietary CZ Smart YouQ application, this smartwatch is a revolution in wearable wellness.”

The unisex watch comes with a metal body made from 316L stainless steel. Now in its second-gen (the first gen was released back in 2020), the watch also comes with the YouQ app that uses machine learning to constantly learn more and more about you so the longer you wear the watch, the more personalized its experience gets. The smartwatch sports a 1.28″ AMOLED display that offers high visibility in any time of the day, and the battery lasts for 24 hours on a full charge. The watch also comes with a built-in gyroscope, altimeter, barometer, accelerometer, heart rate sensor, SP02, and an ambient light sensor. It runs the Wear OS by Google, but is interoperable with both Android and iOS devices.

The CZ Smart YouQ app is perhaps the most impressive bit of tech here. Developed in partnership with IBM and NASA, the YouQ app possesses the ability to crunch data in ways that other smartwatches can’t. While smartwatches just present diagnostic data like your heart rate, sleep quality, fitness, weather, etc, the YouQ goes into prognosis, actively predicting and giving you actionable insights. It studies your sleep patterns and tells you when to sleep to get the best quality rest, tracks your behavior and provides key insights to help you stay more focused and less fatigued, and lets you generate Alert Scores to test your mental acuity. Alert Scores are generated when a wearer takes a custom-designed Alert Monitor test, a consumer-facing iteration of NASA’s Psychomotor Vigilance Task Test (PVT+), originally developed to determine the mental acuity of astronauts.

The Citizen CZ Smart 2nd gen watches will be available starting March 2023 on CITIZEN’s website with a price range of $350 – $435. The proprietary YouQ application will be available at the same time, although it’s only designed to work with the 2nd gen CZ Smart range of watches, and a hybrid series that will launch at a later date.

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NASA x Interstellar RED3.721 watch carries a piece of Mars and human perseverance with it

Keeping track of time is a purely human construct that was first invented based on the movement of heavenly bodies. We have since then refined our clocks, of course, but they all still use the Earth as the frame of reference. That won’t do us much good when we start living on other planets, but thankfully we’re just at the cusp of our stellar colonization ambitions. In fact, we just landed our most ambitious attempt at studying our closest planetary neighbor Mars last year, a feat that is sure be highlighted in science and history books in years to come. While there are many new products that celebrate and commemorate that momentous occasion, nothing probably comes closer than a watch blessed by NASA that contains within it dust from the Red Planet and proofs of man’s tenacious nature to persevere and reach out to space.

Designer: Sebastien Colen

Click Here to Buy Now: $495.

On 18th February 2021, the Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Martian soil. It represented humanity’s most ambitious attempt so far to explore our neighbor, searching for clues of life and, more importantly, testing it for future missions and possible colonization. Unsurprisingly, there have been many commemorative products launched since then, but the Interstellar RED3.721 watch definitely takes the cake not just for being approved by NASA but also for being a treasure trove of references to that event, all done tastefully and in a stunningly elegant way.

Number “3,721” – Corresponds to the gravity of the planet observed during NASA mission.

The Red Planet – The dial showcases the pattern and features of Mars.

“7 Minutes of Terror” – The entry, descent, and landing is recognized as the shortest and most intense phase of the Mars 2020 mission.

The Original “Meatball” NASA Logo – This collection has been granted by NASA.

The most obvious is perhaps the historic date that’s engraved at the very top of the watch’s frame, though it is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Scattered on the watch’s surfaces are other clues that space lovers would understand, like the glowing “7 Minutes of Terror” on the 3 o’clock position that honors the seven tense minutes between the Perseverance’s entry into Martian atmosphere and its safe landing on the planet’s soil. On the back of the watch is the Perseverance’s parachute design, which is actually an encoded message that spells “Dare Mighty Things.” Even the name of the watch itself is a tribute to the Red Planet, both in the name as well as the 3.721 figure that corresponds to the planet’s gravity.

Authentic Martian Meteorite – The dust is extracted from a meteorite that has traveled millions of miles to finally crash on earth.

The most direct connection with Mars, however, is the relic housed in that same 3 o’clock position. It contains dust harvested from a Martian meteorite discovered last year in Northwest Africa. Those who opt to claim this one-of-a-kind variant of the NASA x Interstellar RED3.721 watch will be assured of its authenticity with a certificate, not to mention NASA’s authority in this collaboration.

The NASA x Interstellar RED3.721, however, isn’t just a tribute to this historic moment. It is also a handsome watch that combines the best of humanity’s ingenuity and dreams. The watch case, which is either 316L stainless steel or titanium, is colored black to represent the darkness of space. It contrasts nicely with the watch face, which is a 3D relief of Mars’ surface taken from actual scientific data. Although the watch commemorates our work towards the future, the RED3.721 bears classic watch movements, either a Miyota 8215 or a Sellita SW200-1.

The Miyota variant comes in the 316L case and with the original NASA “meatball” logo or you can get the Martian meteorite dust encased watch. Sellita’s movement is housed in titanium. The project has already raised more than $650,000 since it launched in May 2022! Whichever design you claim, you won’t just be putting a beautiful work of horology on your wrist, though you are definitely getting a product of high quality for a very affordable price tag. You will also be carrying a timepiece that represents mankind’s past perseverance, present endeavors, and future hope, all at the same time.

Click Here to Buy Now: $495.

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NASA Astronaut Space Suit Can Koozie

Because there are few things more enjoyable in life than sipping a cold one and playing space rangers, maker of outerwear-inspired koozies Puffin Drinkwear is selling this insulated Space Suit koozie. The can cover fits standard 12- and 16-ounce cans and includes a tiny closable backpack for storing other goodies like… actually, I’m not sure what. Glitterstim? Freeze-dried ice cream?

This is easily one of the top five koozies I’ve ever seen, and I will be buying one. Or rather, I’ll be putting it on my Christmas list and purchasing one myself after everybody lets me down like they have every other year. My family always asks what I want, I show them my list, and I still get a yearly membership to the Jelly of the Month Club instead.

Do you think this is what the real astronauts aboard the International Space Station drink out of? Of course not. They drink out of pouches, just like kangaroos would if they were smarter. There’s a good reason kangaroos haven’t been to the moon, you know. Granted, I don’t know what it is, but there definitely is one.

[via The Awesomer]

LEGO replica of the NASA James Webb Space Telescope comes with the same complex folding design!

It’s easy to be amazed by the pictures captured by the James Webb Space Telescope while being completely oblivious to the sheer complex beauty of the telescope itself. For astronomer and LEGO builder @tonysmyuncle, the telescope itself represented a major leap in design and engineering, and he almost instantly fell in love with how complex yet ingenious it was. “I wanted to build a model to help others appreciate this incredible machine,” the LEGO builder said. “I hope this LEGO set will help builders and students worldwide understand the remarkable engineering that went into creating this enormous space telescope and learn the basics of how a telescope works.”

Designer: tonysmyuncle

The James Webb Space Telescope was so large that it had to be “folded” to fit within the rocket and “unfolded” after it was launched into space – a highly complicated (and expensive) action that required incredible amounts of precision and accuracy. “Just like the real JWST, this LEGO JWST model folds into a stowed position for launch, features all of the major moving components, and is roughly to scale with a standard LEGO Minifigure”, reads the project description on the LEGO Ideas forum. The replica even comes with the 18 iconic hexagon mirrors that make up the telescope’s light-gathering reflector module.

The miniature LEGO replica comes with every single conceivable component of the JWST, including even the secondary hinged mirror and that layered sun shield at the bottom. All of JWST’s major subsystems are incorporated, including the science instruments, and the propulsion, power, and communications subsystems. The model was designed to fold and unfold exactly like the real telescope, aiming at allowing LEGO builders to really understand and appreciate exactly how complicated and beautiful this marvel of engineering is!

The NASA’s JWST project currently has 3,466 votes on the LEGO Ideas forum. If it reaches 10,000 votes, LEGO will turn the fan-made idea into a box-set that consumers can buy. You can vote for the NASA’s JWST LEGO build here.

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NASA Releases “Black-Hole Remix,” The Sounds of a Distant Galaxy Cluster

If you want kids to care about it these days, it has to be on social media, so NASA has released a Twitter clip of sounds created by a distant galaxy cluster, presumably to reignite youth’s interest in space. I remember when I was a kid, outer space was all I could ever think about. Well, space, and how to sleep at night without getting eaten by the monsters hiding in my room. Little did I know at the time, those were the good ol’ days.

According to NASA Exoplanets (the NASA branch responsible for seeking planets and life outside our own solar system): “The misconception that there is no sound in space originates because most space is a ~vacuum, providing no way for sound waves to travel. A galaxy cluster has so much gas that we’ve picked up actual sound. Here it’s amplified, and mixed with other data, to hear a black hole!”

So what does it sound like? Kind of like a ghost party, with lots of moaning. And not sensual moaning either, ghastly moaning like you just bought a haunted house and are sleeping there for the first time. Don’t worry, though, you get used to it. Or at least I get so tired I pass out anyway.

[via TechEBlog]

NOMINAL Moon Lander pen is ready to launch your productivity to the next level

Nothing is more inspiring than a tool that represents humanity’s best moments and aspirations.

It’s easy to take a pen for granted until you find yourself forced to use one that doesn’t work or doesn’t feel comfortable to hold. Mass-produced pens have numbed our minds to the joys of holding a well-designed tool, especially one that delights our sense of sight and touch. Fortunately, there is also no shortage of high-quality pens that try to bring back those age-old sensations with a modern touch. And what could be more modern than a pen inspired by a rocket that will take humans to their next frontier, a fitting metaphor for breaking through the barriers of boredom, procrastination, and banality to take off to new heights of creativity and productivity.

Designer: Mercator London

Click Here to Buy Now: $68 $75 (10% off with coupon code “YANKO_ML_10”). Hurry, less than 48 hours to go!

Nominal, whose name was literally taken from a term used during rocket launches, made a name for itself with a highly successful 2020 run that brought a pen designed to resemble SpaceX’s historic Falcon 9. Inspired by a new collaboration between NASA and SpaceX to bring humans back to the Moon, the new NOMINAL Moon Lander puts a different twist to the “space pen,” allowing your mind and your hands to wander briefly and take part in the history-defining process of launching a rocket into space. Pick up the pen from its base, pop the cap module off, and land the pen’s tip on paper to write your thoughts and tasks down smoothly, unhindered by the weight of poorly-designed pens.

The NOMINAL Moon Lander is striking both in its design and its finish. Its brushed stainless steel body is expertly made from 18 individual CNC-machined parts and conveys both an image of strength and durability. Every part of the pen is meticulously designed, even for the parts you’re unlikely to see or notice. The base, for example, hides 29 recessed dots that represent the 29 raptor engines that will catapult the Super Heavy Starship to space. The pen’s grip has engraved hexagonal patterns, similar to the heatshields used in SpaceX’s rockets.

The pen isn’t just for show, of course, though it definitely stands tall and proud as a desk centerpiece. It is also a sharp tool you can use to wage war on work and todos, especially with the Schmidt P950M Medium Black pressurized refill that was specifically chosen for its smooth-flowing ink at any angle. The base can be easily detached to replace the cartridge when the ink well runs empty. The pen grip’s stainless steel surface is cool to the touch, and the patterns increase the skin’s grip, offering a more pleasant and stress-free writing experience.

NOMINAL Moon Lander Platform – Features a fineprint photograph of the Moon’s surface. It also fits an Apple MagSafe Wireless Charger.

And when the task is written and done, the Moon Lander can find its way back home to the optional Moon Lander Platform, complete with a printed photograph of the Moon’s surface. For those times when the rocket is away, that base can also be a home for your iPhone, especially because it hides a MagSafe charger inside. The base also serves as a fitting home for the cap Capsule Module while the pen is in use, signifying that the work is far from over.

Beautiful in both its construction and its form, the NOMINAL Moon Lander pen tickles one’s fancy and imagination every time it is picked up for what would otherwise be a rote or mundane task. Almost like a challenge to break free from the regularity of everyday life, the SpaceX-inspired pen delivers a tool that is both interesting to look at and even more pleasurable to hold and use, just as a modern pen in the space age should be.

Click Here to Buy Now: $68 $75 (10% off with coupon code “YANKO_ML_10”). Hurry, less than 48 hours to go!

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This modular origami tent built by space architects for the moon unfolds into 750 times it size!

Studying space exploration is a side hobby of mine so this extreme-weather resistant origami moon habitat is one of my dream homes. SAGA is a Danish architecture studio that designed LUNARK which is a modular shelter that expands and becomes 750 times its original size! It was crucial to design a structure that would be easily transportable (to the moon!), have a zero-waste ecosystem, and could withstand arctic temperatures and meteor showers – LUNARK does it all, in fact, it was taken out on a test run in Greeland by the architects themselves!

SAGA has one mission – make outer space a little cozier for future human inhabitants. The LUNARK habitat shows what can happen when the architect steps back and allows the extreme environment on the Moon and the high arctic to mold a habitat around human beings. LUNARK’s form was inspired by the patterns seen in a budding leaf as it unfolds and origami. It unfolds from a tight bud to a large ovoid shape with a rigid carbon fiber shell. Its exterior is tough as a tank while its interior is a cozy home with a sense of Nordic “hygge”.


The main exterior of the habitat is made from a black glossy carbon fiber shell. The carbon-fiber structure’s sandwiched panels with a foam core for extra insulation. Carbon fiber is ideal because it’s lightweight – which is crucial for transport and unfolding – yet strong. The panels are connected by a white foldable composite rubber and the main load-bearing structure is an aluminum frame.

Starting from the size of a small car, the carbon fiber shell can unfold to 750 times its size. Inside, solar-powered circadian panels mimic the light cycles on Earth, aiming to improve astronauts’ sleep patterns and general well-being. It is designed to counteract monotony, claustrophobia, and psychological stress.


With an inner volume of 17.2 sqm, LUNARK is designed to shelter two people at once. It is powered by a 1000 Ah solar-powered battery. It aspires to be a zero-waste shelter, leaving as little impact as possible on the environment. Inside the unfolding pod, there is space for a 3D printer (for printing spare parts if needed), stowage for batteries and water, and a living algae farm. LUNARK also has a series of in-built digital software systems, including a weather simulator to help break up the day-to-day monotony, and an algae reactor, to nurture and monitor a source of nutrition.

The main principle behind LUNARK is its expanding volume, as the structure expands 750% after transport while testing it was a great success as it was easy to unfold and strong enough to withstand the extreme environment. “The habitat worked beyond all expectations. The unfolding was possible by just two people and no heavy machinery – and in the extreme cold of the arctic. Furthermore, the interior design and spatial organization worked well. We are not trained professional astronauts, our tolerance is much lower. So we needed a much more pleasant living environment. We wanted to create a home, not a survival machine – and the habitat really ended up feeling like home,” adds Aristotelis.

Earlier in 2020, SAGA developed a prototype for LUNARK using the principles of Japanese origami folding with biomimicry. The two architects, Sebastian Aristotelis and Karl-Johan Sørensen, then went on a two-month mission to experience extreme isolation in northern Greenland where they tested LUNARK and its technologies themselves for future moon missions while enduring -30°c, hurricane winds, and hungry polar bears!


In the two months spent in extreme isolation in Greenland, SAGA collected data about the performance of the unfolding origami structure and the circadian light panels that form the artificial sky inside the habitat. The duo also collected data about their psychological wellbeing, the impact of isolation, and how to deal with conflicts under extreme conditions which will help them make LUNARK even better for real missions.

“We wanted to make the most realistic simulation mission. If we as architects want to test the effect of architectural countermeasures in space we also need to simulate a realistic amount of stress on the participants (in our case ourselves). The cold arctic was the best bet for that. At the same time, the arctic has the most similar lighting conditions to the moon. It’s far away, remote and isolated so the experiment conditions forced our design to be easy to deploy,” said Aristotelis.

Having lived for months in conditions that resemble those in outer space, the two young architects collected a significant amount of data which they will analyze with a focus on human well-being and psychology. “The future looks great, our design worked better than expected which puts us on a solid trajectory to build in outer space,” Aristotelis concludes. SAGA is not only focused on making brilliant space architecture but is also putting the mental health of the astronauts at the core of their design which makes them stand out among all others on our planet!

Designer: SAGA Space Architects


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