For nearly 2½ years, NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has been cruising the Red Planet, collecting soil samples, examining rocks and looking for signs of microbial life. Now, the six-wheeled crawler has been immortalized in Lego form with the release of a new 1,132-piece set.
The kit is part of Lego’s Technic line, which is designed for more engineering-curious builders. A big part of the draw is the functioning complex systems that mimic the real rover’s mechanisms. For example, the finished Lego kit lets you switch the rover between a regular driving mode and a 360 mode. In the latter, the four outer wheels each lock at an angle so the rover can rotate in place.
Speaking of which, the wheels mimic the cleated aluminum wheels with titanium spokes of the real Percy. All six wheels on the Lego kit articulate to let the rig travel over rocky and pockmarked surfaces never touched by human beings. The long robotic arm with rock coring head and sample collector is replicated with movement along three axes. The set even includes the Ingenuity helicopter, an experimental solar flier equipped with cameras to scan the Martian landscape.
The real Perseverance and Ingenuity were launched on July 30, 2020. The duo landed on Mars a little over half a year later, on February 18, 2021. Since then, Perseverance has traveled just under 12 miles on the Martian surface as it examines the Jezero Crater. After that, it’ll proceed toward an ancient river delta to seek evidence of remaining water. Signals sent to Earth take about 11 minutes to arrive. Meanwhile, Ingenuity has completed 52 flights in the alien atmosphere, the first human-made machine to take flight on another planet.
The Lego set will be released on Aug. 1, three years and a day after Perseverance and Ingenuity were launched from Cape Canaveral. The kit will retail for $99.99 and is recommended for kids ages 10 and up.