Amidst the Lego aficionados and fanatics are plenty of engineers who like to recreate the possible and dream of the impossible through little plastic bricks. Lego imitates life in some projects more than others, such as with this Lego model of the Mars Curiosity rover, built by Stephen Pakbaz, an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who helped design the real Curiosity rover.

The Brothers Brick has an interview with Pakbaz, outlining his childhood experience with Lego bricks and Pakbaz's work on Curiosity. Curiosity was the first spacecraft that Pakbaz worked on after school, and he design the brackets and covers, helped with the assembly and testing of the rover. Pakbaz combined his love of Lego and his intimate knowledge of the rover to create a Curiosity design for Lego CUUSOO (head there for instructions on how to make your own Lego Curiosity). He also made his own Lego Curiosity kits, which he has sent to various museums, as well as to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Public Engagement Office.


Pakbaz explains to the Brothers Brick how his work on the real rover helped him develop the Lego version:

I learn best by seeing and touching, which perhaps explains my affinity for mechanical engineering and LEGO. The rocker-bogie suspension system on the rover was just so cool, that I needed to make a LEGO version that I could play with. Being so close to the real rover all the time, designing a few small parts for it, and working with larger assemblies certainly helped me to understand its features, what they did, and how they worked. I'm hoping the LEGO Curiosity rover does the same for others.

Mission to Mars: An Interview with Stephen Pakbaz [The Brothers Brick]