ESA Scientists Use Meteorite Dust to 3D Print Lunar Shelter Bricks, Inspired by LEGO®

ESA Scientists Use Meteorite Dust to 3D Print Lunar Shelter Bricks, Inspired by LEGO®

(IN BRIEF) The European Space Agency (ESA) has developed 3D printed bricks, called ESA Space Bricks, using 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite dust, inspired by LEGO bricks. These bricks are part of a project to explore using space materials for building astronaut shelters on the moon. A selection of these bricks will be displayed in LEGO Retail stores and the LEGO House from 24th June to 20th September 2024, aiming to inspire future builders and space enthusiasts.

(PRESS RELEASE) BILLUND, 19-Jun-2024— /EuropaWire/ — The European Space Agency (ESA) has found an innovative way to design astronaut shelters for future lunar missions by taking inspiration from the iconic LEGO® brick system. ESA scientists have successfully used dust from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite to 3D print bricks similar to LEGO bricks. These specially crafted bricks, termed ESA Space Bricks, are a step towards constructing buildings on the moon using materials found in space.

In a move to engage and inspire the public, a selection of these ESA Space Bricks will be showcased in various LEGO Retail stores and the LEGO House from 24th June to 20th September 2024. The display aims to highlight how creative construction with LEGO bricks can contribute to solving complex problems, even those related to space exploration.

As part of the Artemis program, ESA is exploring how lunar materials can be utilized for building structures. The team tested the feasibility of creating building blocks by using meteorite dust mixed with a small amount of polylactide and regolith simulant. This mixture was 3D printed into bricks resembling LEGO bricks, demonstrating that space materials can indeed be used for small-scale construction.

These ESA Space Bricks will be exhibited in select LEGO Stores across the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Australia, and at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. The initiative is designed to inspire the next generation of builders and space enthusiasts, showcasing how LEGO brick building can extend beyond play to real-world applications.

Aidan Cowley, ESA Science Officer, commented on the project, saying, “Our teams are working towards the future of space travel and take inspiration from not just what’s above us, but also what we can find on Earth. No-one has ever built a structure on the moon, so we have to work out not only how we build them but what we build them out of as we can’t take any materials with us. My team and I team love creative construction and had the idea to explore whether space dust could be formed into a brick similar to a LEGO brick so we could test different building techniques. The result is amazing and whilst the bricks may look a little rougher than usual, importantly the clutch power still works, enabling us to play and test our designs.”

Daniel Meehan, Creative Lead at The LEGO Group, noted the significance of the collaboration: “We recently found out that space remains an area of huge curiosity with 87% of Gen Alpha kids interested in discovering new planets, stars, and galaxies. With the ESA team using the LEGO System-in-Play to advance space travel, it shows kids the sky really is the limit when it comes to LEGO brick building and we hope it encourages children to have a go at building their own space shelters!”

Following its role in advancing potential lunar infrastructure, 15 ESA Space Bricks will be displayed globally to encourage interest in space travel and inspire children to build their own moon shelters.

The bricks will be featured in the following locations:


  • The LEGO Store, Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
  • The LEGO Store, Disney Springs, Florida
  • The LEGO Store, Water Tower Place, Chicago
  • The LEGO Store, Disneyland Resort, California
  • The LEGO Store, 5th Avenue, New York


  • The LEGO Store, West Edmonton


  • The LEGO Store, Leicester Square, London


  • The LEGO Store, München Zentrum
  • The LEGO Store, Cologne


  • The LEGO Store, Copenhagen
  • LEGO House, Billund


  • The LEGO Store, Barcelona


  • The LEGO Store, Paris


  • The LEGO Store, Amsterdam


  • The LEGO Store, Pitt Street Mall, Sydney

For more information about the ESA Space Bricks and the LEGO Space sets, visit

About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine.

The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words Leg Godt, which mean “Play Well”.

Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. Its products are now sold in more than 120 countries worldwide. For more information:

About the European Space Agency:
The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia are Associate Members.

ESA has established formal cooperation with four Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

Learn more about ESA at

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