Father and son tandem will send rocket to Jupiter with LEGO men as pilots

  • A father and son team has designed a motor that will send a rocket to Jupiter
  • The motor is crucial to the success of the probe of the largest planet in the solar system
  • Aboard the rocket are LEGO men as pilots

Father and son team Mike and Nick Hodgins, are doing something special: building a motor that will send a rocket to Jupiter with LEGO men as pilots.

As Mirror UK reported, the major space mission will be largely dependent on the engineering skills of the Hodgins team as a rocket travels to Jupiter.

Four years and 11 months after it left the Earth, the probe of NASA Juno will reach the Solar System’s biggest planet.

Crucial to the success of this 1.4 billion-mile journey is the motor that was built by Mike and Nick. The motor must fire for 35 seconds to slow down the probe as it approaches approximately up to 13,000mph.

If the motor fails, Juno, which costs USD770 million will end up sailing on in outer space forever.

“There’ll be a lot of bitten fingernails as it arrives,” 28-year-old Nick said.

The father-and-son’s engine must release the power equivalent to the power of a Formula 1 racing car to slow down the probe that will enter the polar orbit.

“I’ve been building these rocket engines since the late 1980s. I bolt or weld them together, then test them – it takes about a month to assemble each one. Then they get shipped away for fitting to the spacecraft.” 62-year-old Mike said.

Mike began his career as an apprentice in 1970 after leaving school at 16.

Currently, he’s working with his son at Moog Westcott – a supplier of engines for space missions to countries worldwide.

Juno is set to fly within 2,900 miles of Jupiter’s swirling cloud tops which is closer than any previous probe that has been conducted.

Interestingly, three LEGO figures are onboard. The figures represent roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno and Galileo Galilei. They are made up of aluminum to help them survive.

Winds on Jupiter reach a speed of up to 384mph. It has a powerful magnetic field.