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Rochester is Passed Up for Lego Space Landing

January 25th, 2012

Two teenagers from Toronto, Ontario sent this Lego man into space riding a weather balloon. One really tiny step for Lego man; One giant leap for mankind. [PHOTO: via Toronto Star]
Two teens from Toronto, Ontario did the unthinkable a few weeks ago. They launched a Lego man into space and recorded the whole thing! And get this, Rochester should have been the Lego man’s landing spot…

Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad are too young to vote, or buy beer (even in Canada). But they somehow managed to send a man into space. That's the little guy there on the left attached to the camera box. [PHOTO: via Toronto Star]According to the Toronto Star, Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, age 17, got a crazy idea after seeing video footage from a weather balloon sent into space by MIT students. They decided to try the same stunt themselves just for the fun of the challenge. [Watch Video of the space flight... external link]

With $400 and a four months of free Saturdays, they designed and built a contraption consisting of Styrofoam, a couple of programmable point-and-shoot Canon cameras, a wide-angle video camera, a helium weather balloon, parachute, Super Glue, a GPS-enable cellphone… and one Lego man.

'Buzz' the Lego-naut after his 97 minute space flight. [PHOTO: via Toronto Star]But these two over achievers didn’t just want to launch a Lego man into space—their ultimate goal was to retrieve it as well. The pair discovered a website that calculates a weather balloon’s estimated landing spot based on input launch coordinates, prevailing winds, and balloon specs — different weather balloons are designed to burst at different altitudes. The site repeatedly told them their balloon was destined to land in Rochester, N.Y. But Muhammad and Ho didn’t like their chances with U.S. Homeland Security. So they waited until the prevailing winds changed direction. Then, when the time was right, they launched their homemade space ship from a soccer field in Newmarket, Ontario external link.

After a 97 minute flight, and after snapping scores of photographs external linkfrom 15 miles above Earth, Lego man safely touched down in Peterborough, Ontario external link, avoiding Rochester.

Here’s an actual still photo taken by ‘Buzz’ the Lego-naut…

An image captured by a Lego man in space. Never thought I'd say those words. [PHOTO: via Toronto Star]Oh well. Maybe Rochester will use this as its “Sputnik moment”. Do you hear me all you genius RIT engineers?! Rochester will put a Lego man on the moon by 2014, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Said Lego JFK external link.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 9:13 pm and is filed under Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Rochester is Passed Up for Lego Space Landing”

  1. Erik Stoneham says:

    My nephew will love this and now ask me and his father why we did not do this first. Why did I ever give him my legos. – CAUSE THEY ARE COOL -

  2. @Erik, Legos are food for the mind and soul. I truly believe that. Just because you and your nephew didn’t think of it first, doesn’t mean you guys couldn’t take it a step further.

    I’m serious about putting Lego man on the moon. With the brainpower we have in Rochester this is achievable. I will even help finance the project.

    If we can get him up to the edge of space via balloon, a motorized propeller/fan or other compact propulsion system could then kick in and send him on a path toward the moon.

    Come on people! Let’s put ROC back on the map!

  3. Erik Stoneham says:

    My brothers and I lack the physics and simple engineering. However we do have an abundance of legos

  4. Mike says:

    I don’t think either of you will be sending one up to the moon anytime soon.

    A propeller wouldn’t propel anything in space.

  5. @Mike, whatever it is… an aerosol can… a firecracker… my point is, once it’s up there, there are ways to propel it through space. Really all you’d have to do is set it in motion and on the right trajectory… and protect it from burning up of course.

    Obviously I’m not a rocket scientist; or any kind of scientist ;-) But you can’t tell me there’s no one out there who could figure this out.

  6. [...] to Rochester Subway: With $400 and a four months of free Saturdays, they designed and built a contraption consisting [...]

  7. Two days after you saw it on RochesterSubway.com, the major U.S. news outlets have caught wind of this story. Here it is on ABC News. It won’t be long now before some University of California students put a Lego man on the moon. I’m telling you, RIT, a golden opportunity is passing you by.

  8. John says:

    One suggestion was a tiny propeller motor drive when baloon reached edge of outer space. This, of course,can not be. The reason propellor driven aircraft can not fly in the upper area is that the air is to thin for the fins of the prop blades to be effective. (same is true of jet aircraft but for a different reason, wings of jet aircraft can not produce enough lift in the thin air). A more practical use might be pressurized oxygen and combustabe gasses.

  9. Rick says:

    They didn’t use legos, but RIT students have done similar things previously. Such as RITCHIE-1 posted on youtube here:
    http://youtu.be/IVn8DUBFuSw

    -Rick

  10. Antje, Lugau says:

    Antje, Lugau…

    [...]RochesterSubway.com : Rochester is Passed Up for Lego Space Landing[...]…


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