Two European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts are set to start exploring Mars after they land on toy retailer cabinets later this week.
Playmobil, in cooperation with ESA, is about to release its “Mars Expedition” playset in Europe and the United Kingdom on Friday (Dec. 17). The co-branded toy consists of every little thing that youngsters ages 6 to 12 must stage their very own imaginary mission on the Red Planet, together with two Playmobil ESA astronauts, an ESA-branded Mars rover with working gentle and sounds, a Mars trike, a drilling station and an ESA analysis laboratory.
“We’re already sending probes and rovers to Mars, but people will eventually go to there and it will be the children of today who will, one day, set foot on the Red Planet,” Emmet Fletcher, head of ESA’s branding and partnerships workplace, said in a statement. “Developing ESA-themed toys helps children imagine how they would explore this new world.”
The Playmobil Mars Expedition set, which retails for €39.99 (or $64.99 when it goes on sale in the U.S. on Jan. 1, 2022), is modeled after ESA’s and NASA’s joint purpose of accumulating, caching and returning samples from Mars.
“The [playset’s] drill is used to search for minerals in the rocks. If astronauts discover something interesting, they swap the drill attachment for the gripper arm and carefully pick up the object. At the research station, all samples are examined in detail,” Playmobil wrote in its product description. “To cover shorter distances, the astronauts use the maneuverable Mars trike. Rock samples can be stowed in the loading box at the front of the trike.”
The same collection of occasions are actually underway on Mars utilizing NASA’s Perseverance robotic rover. The six-wheeled explorer makes use of a drill to extract rock samples to be individually cached and left on the Martian floor for a future mission to gather, launch off the planet and in the end return to Earth.
ESA is working with NASA to discover mission ideas for a global Mars sample return marketing campaign between 2026 and 2030.
The pattern return is the most recent in a collection of Mars missions undertaken by ESA. Mars Express has been in orbit round Mars since 2003 and was joined by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter in 2016. ESA’s ExoMars mission continues with the Rosalind Franklin rover and the Russian Kazachok floor platform, that are deliberate for launch in 2022.
The Mars Expedition set continues a collaboration between ESA and Playmobil. In 2019, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano was joined on the International Space Station by two Playmobil figures made in his likeness. Duplicates of the 3-inch-tall (7.5-cm) figures have been made out there to the general public with copies of a particular concern of Playmobil Magazine.
More not too long ago, Playmobil introduced that its robot figure “ROBert” will launch to the space station in 2022 to affix German astronaut Matthias Maurer as a part of his “Cosmic Kiss” ESA mission.
The same robotic determine is included within the new ESA-branded Mars Expedition set.
“Playmobil has been creating toys as long as ESA has been exploring space. Their enthusiasm, experience and knowhow has been critical in designing this practical, ambitious toy for children across Europe,” mentioned Fletcher.
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