NASA’s new Atlas V rocket will begin its five year journey to Jupiter today with three tiny aluminum passengers on board—the Roman god Jupiter, his sister Juno, and the Italian astronomer Galileo in Lego Minifig form.
Lego saw the project as a way to promote children’s education and STEM programs. They even underwrote it at a cost of $5000 per figure. NASA, on the other hand, saw the project as an awesome opportunity to play with Lego and blast them into space.
Upon its arrival to Jupiter, the Atlas V will orbit the planet and take photos for a year, after which it will purposefully crash into the planet’s surface. You can follow the progress of the probe and its payload online at Legospace.com.