back to article NASA's Perseverance rover in brick form: China set vs unofficial Lego fan design

NASA's Perseverance is currently trundling around Mars. In the absence of an official Lego version, your hardworking vultures had a crack at a pair of recent designs for the nuclear-powered rover. We have a bit of a chequered history when it comes to the plastic bricks. Sure, we had fun building the International Space Station …

  1. nematoad Silver badge

    No, sorry.

    " "My instructions," he said, "are somewhat unique..."

    Then they are not unique.

    Unique is never qualified.

    A bit like being pregnant, you either are or you are not.

    Looks like a fun project though. Personally I am more into Airfix kits and there you definitely need to use glue.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: No, sorry.

      Someone was paying attention in English class.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No, sorry.

        I bet they're fun at parties too..

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: No, sorry.

          Oooooo parties, I remember them. That was when you talk to people without that one really noisy person prattling on whilst you try and interject but get ignored by the face on the screen all whilst taking part in another zoom pub quiz..... Good Times.

          1. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge

            I believe the correct trigger is...

            "I bet their fun at parties"

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: No, sorry.

      I dunno, how much it costs to do this using Meccano? By that of course I mean metal parts and mini motors.

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: No, sorry.

        Proper red and green painted steel Meccano?

        1. MJB7

          Re: No, sorry.

          There is no other kind.

          (Well, some of my parts are painted yellow, and I think I have a few silver coloured ones).

    3. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: No, sorry.

      You are so wrong. On the contrary, unique is always qualified: it is unique relative to some specific attributes. The qualification is often omitted but it is always implied.

      Take bottles of milk in the supermarket. Obviously each one is different: they contain different atoms, they will contain slightly different numbers of oxygen atoms, the milk will be from different cows, they will have slightly different fat contents, etc. On the other hand, from the point of view of the shopper, if they have the same size and the same colour cap they are equivalent and are not unique.

      If you have to specify a long list of attributes to make something unique then it is not very unique. On the other hand, if you only have to mention of couple of ways in which it is unique then it is very unique. If it is unique in attributes which some may value but others ignore then it is somewhat unique.

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: No, sorry.

        "On the contrary, unique is always qualified"

        Well, that's certainly a unique perspective.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: No, sorry.

          Only somewhat

      2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge


        Are you Charles Walker by any chance? If so I claim my £5

      3. rsole

        Re: No, sorry.

        I don't really agree with this basis of uniqueness. The instructions are not a physical thing and therefore are either unique or not as the case may be. The number of and type of atoms are irrelevent. Or maybe as some others have suggested this is my unique perspective - which I doubt.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Um, actually Re: No, sorry.

      Um, actually, yes.

      At one time unique was an absolute, but English continues to evolve and like other "absolutes" it has become comparative. People have been complaining about this one since at least the early 19th Century, so the usage is clearly at least that old. How long does something have to be in widespread use before it is considered “good” grammar?

      More fun at

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Um, actually No, sorry.

        You quote Merriam Webster as a definitive source?

        WTF do they know about English, they're fucking Americans...

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Merriam Webster

          It is somewhat appropriate that Chambers is mentioned in this article, Chambers being a well-known dictionary, especially if playing Scrabble.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: grammar

        I went to a secondary modern school, which meant grammar was secondary to looking out for oneself in the playground.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: grammar

          I went to a comprehensive school in the 80s. There were no grammar lessons in my English classes at all, as they weren't deemed necessary. Grammar was only taught in the French classes, where it was deemed absolutely necessary.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: grammar

            Slightly older than AC above, I was in the first intake year to the; was "secondary modern", now "comprehensive" school. The 8 classes to a year were called 'e', 'q', 'u', 'a', 'l', 'i', 't' and 'y'

            They didn't know what to do with us intelligent kids, and I received a nearly weekly caning for "messing around" (often answering 'the next question' when the teachers line of thought was obvious) or "plagiarising" if I did actually bother. I remember one time (when I was 12) when the Head Master actually apologised in front of the Geography teacher who had carted me up to the office by the scruff of the neck. He had wanted a paragraph on "What do they grow in the Caribbean?" and I had given him 6 pages on "the socio-economic implications of monoculture in the Caribbean archipelago". (It had been a theme on an OU TV program earlier in the year.)

            The worst was near the end of my first year when I was presented with the whole school prizes for both Needlework and Cookery, which resulted in a good kicking every break time for the rest of term (under the supervision of the teachers who were supposed to stamp-out such stuff).

            I hated that place, and even more so when they wouldn't put on 2 of the 3 A levels I wanted to do - Geography & Statistics FFS! (I lived in the countryside, with no public transport and so had no choice of where to go.) Then the socialist LEA wouldn't give me a third year of 'guaranteed' grant to study an MSc that I had been offered, with the line "You can't have done a degree in 2 years!"

            Now I have many things in space (HW & SW), so they didn't beat me into conformity in the end!

            AC because I don't have a chip on my shoulder, more a whole fish supper!

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No, sorry.

      "A bit like being pregnant, you either are or you are not."

      "Unsure" is also an option.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: No, sorry.

        Given the distressingly non-zero number of spontaneously aborted embryos, one would to conclude that, for Nature too, pregnancy is a probability and not boolean.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: No, sorry.

        Schroedingers quantum pregnancy - until you do the test to resolve the question.

    6. ThinkingMonkey

      Re: No, sorry.

      ""My instructions," he said, "are somewhat unique..." Then they are not unique. Unique is never qualified."

      Perhaps a little nitpicky. I believe "somewhat" in this case was a verbal idiosyncrasy the guy used rather than his choice of an adjective to describe exactly to what degree his instructions are unique.

      If no other instructions describe in detail and technical aspect the way he does, his are indeed textbook unique. I vote that we give the guy a break on his description of his instructions. The point of the story was his designs and excellent documentation, after all.

  2. Forget It

    Oops I misread the headline

    Thought NASA had bricked Perseverance!

    1. John Doe 12

      Re: Oops I misread the headline

      Me too!!! That's clickbait and a half :-D

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I see that Lego has brought out a Space Shuttle with a Hubble telescope.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Damn, I was keeping it secret here to avoid too many people ordering it!

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'll just leave this one here:

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing there...

    The Martian landscape should be easy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing there...


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing there...

      Just wait until the conspiracy theorists see this photo.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    No Apollo 13 kit?

    Sans missing parts.....

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    SpaceX kits

    Anyone built a Falcon 9 and Starship set yet? Big adantage would be it can be played with many times before exploding in a ball of flame.

  8. revenant

    Lunar Module

    I was never one for building with Lego - too expensive when I were a lad - so I would never have considered buying the Lunar Module kit. I settled for my memories of the actual event (including falling asleep while waiting for Armstrong to step out). Fortunately, my son had other ideas and the kit arrived a few months ago for my birthday.

    It was a pleasure to put it together and a reminder of what it's like to patiently devote one's time to building something from scratch (something I haven't done seriously for half a century).

    I found it impressive that over a thousand pieces went together without a hitch and the end result was exactly as planned.

    I do wonder if years of getting to grips with IKEA products gave me good training for the task.

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