July 16, 2019 9:40 am
Updated: July 16, 2019 8:31 pm

Lego rocket at Ontario Science Centre celebrates 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing

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An 11-foot Lego rocket is on display at the Ontario Science Centre from now until Sept. 2 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing that occurred on July 20, 1969.

The mission was launched on July 16 of that year.

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The Lego rocket at the science centre is a replica of NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, built to take humans to the moon and Mars. The display at the centre also kicks off the next 50 years of exploring Mars.

No one from Lego was available for an interview with Global News on Monday, but Amanda Madore, the brand relations senior manager of the company, responded to some questions in an email.

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“This iconic rocket was built by eight Lego Master Builders,” Madore said of the rocket displayed at the Ontario Science Centre. “It took over 150 hours and 80,000 Lego bricks to bring this SLS Rocket model to life in Lego brick form.”

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According to Madore, the Lego SLS rocket at the science centre is one of the tallest Lego rockets ever displayed in Canada.

The exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre allows visitors to build an imagined city in space out of Lego bricks, Madore said.

“For 40 years we have offered creative play opportunities designed to foster children’s interest in space exploration,” she wrote. “It’s our belief that play is critical in developing life skills — all of which are vital to raising the next generation of space explorers.”

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The exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre is part of a month of worldwide Lego events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Lego conducted a poll with Harris Insights & Analytics that found kids in the U.S. and U.K. are about three times as likely to want to be a YouTuber than an astronaut. According to the poll, however, in China, the word “astronaut” is among the most popular answers to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“The LEGO Group conducted an online survey by The Harris Poll in the U.S., U.K. and China to gauge kids’ interest in space exploration,” Madore said. “We were excited to see the global enthusiasm as according to the survey, 86 per cent of children aged 8 to 12 say they are interested in space exploration, and 90 per cent of them want to learn more.”

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On May 30, a new collection of Lego building sets were launched, inspired by NASA’s future missions to explore the moon and Mars, Madore said.

“The sets build on the company’s 40-year history of inspiring space enthusiasts and future explorers with space-based play materials,” Madore wrote.

Throughout the summer, the Ontario Science Centre is showcasing monthly programming on Canada’s contribution to space, the moon and the future of space exploration.

The space programming at the centre kicked off on May 17, with a documentary that celebrates the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission.

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