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LittleBits enters space with NASA-backed kit

Kids (and adults) can build a Mars Rover model and wirelessly send music to their International Space Station model with a new Space Kit.

Can't make it to space camp? Try the Space Kit. LittleBits

LittleBits -- known for its kid-focused modular electronics kits with pieces that snap in place via magnets -- has released one that's out of this world: a Space Kit born out of a partnership with NASA.

Designed by NASA scientists and engineers, the $189 kit teaches scientific principles about electromagnetic, kinetic, and potential energy, as well as robotics, physics, astronomy, and wireless data transmission. The Space Kit features five NASA lesson plans, 10 hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) activities, and 12 modules.

The kit's dozen modules includes three newly created ones -- an infrared LED, a number/counting module, and a remote trigger -- which can also be purchased separately and used with any LittleBits kit.

"With the days old discovery of Earth-like planet Kepler-186f, SpaceX's successful docking at the International Space Station, recent evidence of the Big Bang, and the introduction of Neil deGrasse Tyson's new 'Cosmos' documentary, space is more than ever at the center of the cultural conversation," LittleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir said in a statement.

The LittleBits site also includes NASA lessons about satellite dishes, satellite orbits, and star charts, as well as a wonderful Space Booklet (PDF).

The Space Kit comes with light sensors, a motor, microphone, speaker, remote trigger, LED, wires, battery, cables, and a 30-page instruction booklet. LittleBits

The LittleBits site has videos and written instructions for using the Space Kit and basic materials, such as cardboard, popsicle sticks, and plastic cups, to build a grappler, International Space Station , Mars Rover, and two-way communication satellite.

While you don't need a space helmet to use the Space Kit, you can make one with this handy tutorial created by LittleBits fans.