On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins landed Apollo 11 on the moon. Now, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this monumental achievement, LEGO is immortalizing it in the form of an all-new playset to help inspire the next generation of space explorers.
"We are thrilled that children continue to be interested in space exploration and can’t wait to witness their ‘small steps’ and ‘giant leaps’ in decades to come," LEGO Systems, Inc. Senior Director of Brand Relations Michael McNally said in a statement. "For 40 years we have offered creative play opportunities designed to foster children’s interest in space exploration. We believe that play holds a crucial role in developing essential life skills such as confidence, creativity and communication, all of which are vital to raising the next generation of space explorers."
"For nearly 20 years, NASA and LEGO Group have collaborated on projects to inspire the next generation to imagine and build their future in space," NASA Associate Administrator for Communications Bettina Inclán added. "Our latest efforts celebrate the incredible feats we achieved during Apollo 50 years ago, and now with our accelerated plans to go forward to the Moon, we will continue to inspire children to dream about what’s possible and to grow up to pursue STEM careers. Under our new Artemis lunar exploration program, NASA will send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024 and then we will get ready to take our next giant leap – human missions to Mars!"
In addition to the new playset, LEGO has also built a life-size model of an Apollo 11 lunar module pilot, inspired by the first humans to step on the moon. Consisting of 30,000 LEGO bricks, the model will be unveiled to the public during the Apollo 50 Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum July 18-20.
Furthermore, LEGO has partnered with Scholastic on an educational program that will send 50 children to NASA Space Camp in 2020.