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Why Lego Went to Space Today

26 figurines accompanied first Dane in space
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2015 5:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's one huge journey for a Lego man: Three astronauts blasted off for the International Space Station this morning, including Andreas Mogensen, who's now the first Dane in space. Lego is one of his country's most famous products and Mogensen is bringing 26 Lego figurines bearing the mission logo, as well as some Danish rye porridge and a book by Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, the Guardian reports. When Mogensen returns from his scheduled 10-day stay on the ISS, the Lego will be handed out to schoolchildren.

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Mogensen, whose mission will include testing Danish-made exercise bikes and photographing storms on Earth, is joined by Russia's Sergei Volkov and Kazakhstan's Aidyn Aimbetov, bringing the number of people on the ISS to nine for the first time since 2013, the AP reports. Aimbetov—who got his seat when British singer Sarah Brightman canceled her $52 million space voyage, citing family reasons—will return with Mogensen on Sept. 12 along with current ISS commander Gennady Padalka, a Russian. Volkov will remain on the ISS, where American Scott Kelly will be the new commander. (Mogensen is his country's first astronaut, but a Lego man got to space years before him.)

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