One of Toronto’s newest celebrities is four centimeters tall and made of Lego.
By: Khristopher Reardon, Staff Writer
The journey of Lego Man started over a year ago with two 17-year-old Toronto high school students. Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad originally had decided to send a camera into the upper atmosphere with the help of a weather balloon.
Work didn’t get underway until September since Ho and Muhammad had to spend the next few months putting together a design that would allow Lego Man to float away in a capsule. Also, the capsule was equipped with four cameras, a parachute which they stitched themselves, a GPS enabled cellphone so they could locate and recover the capsule and a miniature Canadian flag to add character.
When the launch day came, the little astronaut sailed up into the sky and made it 24 km before hurdling back down to the surface. The makeshift vehicle was recovered in a field 120 km away from the launching site with amazing footage and the Lego Man intact.
The footage recovered from the cameras shows the Lego Man smiling at the camera with the Canadian flag in his hand as the capsule is dropping from upper-end of Earths Atmosphere. The video clearly shows the bordering light of the Earths glow and the darkness of space before the balloon eventually popped dropping the small craft back to the surface.
When Lego Man emerged from his journey in one piece, media outlets worldwide hopped on the story which propelled the names of both Agincourt Collegiate Institute students of Toronto into headlines across the globe.
News of Lego Man’s journey had even caught fire on social networking sites with the word “Lego Man” trending in Canada.
This accomplishment eventually reached Canon, the makers of the cameras they used to record the trip and were awarded both top-of-the-line cameras to “continue [their] creativity and inspiration”.
Brand relations director Michael McNally from Lego congratulated their effort and said “we are always amazed by the creative ways in which Lego fans use our products, and humbled by how many unsuspecting places we appear, like attached to a helium balloon in . . . space”.
Ho indicated that their next project is to graduate high school and they have already sent their university applications. He is looking to take up studies in commerce, while Muhammad wants to study in engineering.
However, this isn’t the first step for Lego in space. Catherine ‘Cady’ Coleman, chemist and astronaut, brought a small Lego space shuttle with her on a trip to assemble it in a zero gravity environment as part of a deal with the Lego company for an educational program called Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It occurred on November 3, 2010 on the space shuttle Discovery.
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