Canada has contributed astronauts and valuable terrestrial research toward space travel, but it’s not normally mentioned when talking about manned space launches. Unless someone is talking about launching Lego men into space; then they’re probably only focused on Canada.
In 2012, two Canadian teens named Matthew Ho and Asad Muhammed sent a Lego minifigure – a tiny Lego man of the sort seen in the various video games and movies based on the construction property – into space. They did this by using a Helium-filled weather balloon to float their plastic explorer into the stratosphere. It went up, lingered for about an hour and a half until the balloon popped, and fell back to Earth.
Attached the the balloon was a capsule with the minifigure – holding a Canadian flag, of course – a variety of small cameras and a GPS tracking device.
The capsule containing the minifigure survived well enough to have the footage recovered, and the GPS device ensured the boys could retrieve their fallen astronaut.
This isn’t the first time something’s been floated into space on a weather balloon. Similar configurations have been used for things like toy robots and miniature space shuttles.
Still, there’s a certain thrill at sending a man into space. Even if it is a very tiny plastic one.
Question of the night : What was your favorite childrens’ toy?