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Mars Curiosity Rover gets second life as Lego model

An official Lego jury gives the green light to produce the brick version of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover.

Rock zapping laser not included. Stephen Pakbaz

Here's another accomplishment that NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover can add to its resume: the Mars-trotting robot will soon become an official Lego model.

Lego recently announced Curiosity's new gig after wrapping up its formal review process of creations that passed 10,000 votes on Lego's Kickstarter-esque Web site Cuusoo. Ironically, mechanical engineer Stephen Pakbaz, who worked on Curiosity for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, created the design for the 1:20 scale Lego version of the rover.

"The product aligns well with the Lego Group's mission to "inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow," including those who will build our future in outer space," Lego community manager Tim Courtney said in a statement. "Like the Back to the Future Time Machine, which was approved in the Summer Review, the model presented in this project is built very closely to the Lego Group's design standards and so the final product will be very close to Perijove's original design."

For those wanting to build the Rover now, feel free to check out these step-by-step instructions (PDF) provided by Pakbaz.

Lego didn't state any price or availability for the official brick version of Earth's latest visitor to the Red Planet, but the Danish company did promise an update "in the coming months."