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LEGO joins sprint mission to the ISS

Jenny Winder, News Writer
Aug 17, 2015, 20:46 UTC

Sen—The European Space Agency (ESA) has teamed up with LEGO Education, to inspire school children to make their own LEGO movies based around a mission to the International Space Station.

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, as the ambassador for the educational project, is hoping to inspire children to take up technological and scientific studies. Mogensen's 'iriss' mission starts in September. The mission's name combines the Greek goddess Iris, the messenger of the gods of Olympus and the International Space Station ISS. 

The contest asked primary school students in Denmark to create short movies, using a StoryStarter product by LEGO, based on different aspects of the mission. The children's films were uploaded on YouTube, with the five best movies displayed in a special event at Legoland in Billund, Denmark, hosted by Andreas at the end of June. 

Meanwhile, 20 LEGO figurines launched to the Space Station will be used as prizes for activities around the mission when they return to Earth later this year.

During his brief ten-day 'sprint' mission, Andreas will be conducting more than 20 ESA experiments testing new technology for space and new ways of operation. These include testing a novel suit to alleviate back pain, operating a car-sized rover and using augmented-reality goggles to guide him through maintenance tasks. To complete his tasks, Mogensen will have to work up to nine-and-a-half-hour days instead of the eight-hour workdays that are usual for astronauts on the Station.

Expedition 44 and the One-Year Crew currently aboard the ISS are Russian cosmonauts Commander Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko, NASA's Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, and JAXA's Kimiya Yui. 

For details of every human who has been in space since the first spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, including who is in space now and their previous missions, check out Sen’s human spaceflight app.

The story of ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen and his 10-day 'iriss' mission to the International Space Station. Credit: European Space Agency, ESA