Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen had a little extra baggage when he blasted off to the ISS from the Baikonur cosmodrome this morning – 26 custom Lego minifigs. The toys will accompany Mogensen while he's up there, before returning to earth and being sent out to children around the world as a memento of his trip.
The 26 figures have been designed just for the launch and to mark the occasion of the first Dane in space, featuring the various logos of the European Space Agency, its IRISS mission badge and more. As well as floating minifigs about in zero gravity for the enjoyment of children gathered around live feeds back on earth, Mogensen will be controlling remote rovers, tracking energy produced by thunderstorms, helping purify water and wearing a mobile video headset while he does most of this to allow ground control to watch everything he does, as he does it, live. So no having fun while you're up there, Andreas.
Mogensen is only getting a relatively brief 10-day stay in space, after which the lucky 26 minifig astronauts will be handed out as prizes in school competitions. Hopefully they won't go to bad children who pull the hands and arms off. There needs to be some sort of screening process. [Guardian]