Japanese Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa is officially the first person to build a LEGO version of the International Space Station, while actually living in space. Furukawa is a Japanese surgeon, and a JAXA Astronaut (Japan’s version of NASA). He went through the painstaking process of creating the ISS LEGO replica while on board the ISS itself. The International Space Station replica was commissioned by NASA, and was designed as an educational collaboration between the space organization and classrooms across the country.
Furukawa built the model in two hours, using a zero-gravity using a glovebox containment enclosure that is usually used for keeping experiments from scattering around the cabin. He had to use this enclosure to contain the small LEGO pieces, as the escape of even one of these pieces could have catastrophic consequences. The result of one of the pieces lodging itself in a piece of equipment on board the ISS could cause an explosion on board…definitely considered a safety hazard.
Furukawa was only allowed to keep the LEGO set together for an hour, just long enough to take a picture (and admire the results of his long work), before having to disassemble it. If you have ever built a LEGO set before especially one as big/complicated as this one, can you imagine what it would be like to build it in a zero-gravity environment, using a containment box?
Check out the video below to see how Satoshi Furukawa build the International Space Station LEGO replica: