Lego Stores in 8 Countries to Showcase ‘Space Bricks’ Made of Meteorite Dust

A Space Brick made from 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite dust by the European Space Agency, seen here at the Lego Store on Fifth Ave in New York City.

Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) tasked with designing launch pads and shelters for astronauts visiting the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program turned to a popular childhood toy for inspiration: Lego. The building blocks they created weren’t your typical Legos though — these were made from compacted meteorite dust, the closest substance readily available on Earth to the regolith that astronauts will use to build structures on the moon.

Now, 15 of the resulting ESA “Space Bricks” — made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite originally discovered in North-West Africa in 2000 — will be on display at Lego Stores around the world from June 24 to Sept. 20 in hopes of inspiring the builders of tomorrow.

“Our teams are working toward the future of space travel and take inspiration from not just what’s above us, but also what we can find on Earth,” said ESA Science Officer Aidan Cowley in a statement. “No one has ever built a structure on the moon, so we have to work out not only how we build them but what we build them out of, as we can’t take any materials with us. My team and I love creative construction and had the idea to explore whether space dust could be formed into a brick similar to a Lego brick so we could test different building techniques. The result is amazing and whilst the bricks may look a little rougher than usual, importantly, the clutch power still works, enabling us to play and test our designs.”

Lego Stores in Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Australia and the Lego House in Billund, Denmark will have displays, as well as five locations in America, including at:

  • Minnesota’s Mall of America;
  • Disney Springs, Fla.;
  • Water Tower Place in Chicago;
  • The Disneyland Resort in California
  • The 5th Avenue store in New York.

“We recently found out that space remains an area of huge curiosity, with 87% of Gen Alpha kids interested in discovering new planets, stars and galaxies,” said Daniel Meehan, Creative Lead at The Lego Group in a statement. “With the ESA team using the Lego System-in-Play to advance space travel, it shows kids the sky really is the limit when it comes to Lego brick building, and we hope it encourages children to have a go at building their own space shelters.”