Space may be the final frontier but the realm of the imagination holds no bound. LEGO releases the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set, which is a detailed recreation of the craft that embarked on the April 1990 STS-31 mission. As the 35th mission of the American Space Shuttle program, this was the mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope into Earth's orbit.
Made up of 2,354 pieces, LEGO's NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is complete with a functional landing gear and payload bay doors (that open!) with reflective stickers that mimic the cooling radiators found on the real shuttle orbiter.
At the craft's rear is three main engines used for launch into orbit. Flanked on either side of the tail are smaller engines designed for in-orbit manoeuvres and re-entry. On the wings and tails' back edges are the flight control surfaces and the rudder on the tail that acts as a speed brake in landing.
Of course, none of these is operational; it's a toy, not an F-ing actual space shuttle. But, God, the details on this. Not only is the exterior near accurate, the interior—from the upper flight deck down to the mid-deck to the payload bay—holds the same sort of detail to attention as well. The crew cabin has the five seats in their correct placement; the mid-deck contains storage lockers for necessities and mission equipment; an airlock to the payload bay.
Within the payload bay is the Ku-band antenna for comms, cameras for the crew to monitor operations within the bay, and the RMS arm that holds and release the Hubble Space Telescope, which has a hinged mirror housing and gold foil solar arrays and a reflective, metallic silver design. You can stow the telescope in the payload bay or it can be displayed separately from the Discovery.
This is LEGO's most complex vehicle ever made. Not only to create a smooth exterior and an interior capable of holding the payload, but it also needed to couple the front and main landing gear without removing any space from the payload bay and compromising the model.