In "LEGO robot Mars bound," floridatoday.com says that the Planetary Society announced Saturday that Biff Starling will be the first astrobot to fly to Mars today. Biff was supposed to be a backup astrobot, but Sandy Moondust, the designated astrobot, suffered from a "freak zucchini accident."
Here are the details about these robots, designed by the Planetary Society through a partnership with the LEGO Company.
Biff is a last minute replacement Astrobot who will launch and land first. He is funny, laid-back, and speaks fluent surfer. Biff would be happy as your basic couch bot, watching reruns of Battlebots and Junkyard Wars on TV all day every day. But, he is excited about big rockets and cool technology.
Sandy is adventurous, strong, and independent. The Mars Exploration Rover mission fulfills her life dream. She is all business. She is filled with knowledge of the Mars Exploration Rover missions, and yearns to explore the spacecraft and Mars itself. She'd rather be nowhere else than on the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft, except maybe correcting grammar or taking a test.
Please meet the astrobots, the happy Biff Starling and the adventurous Sandy Moondust.
These robots are only 1.2 inch high and will land on Mars with a mini-DVD carrying the names of 4 million people who submitted their names before launch.
For more information, you can read "Astrobot Diaries Launch with NASA Rovers" from the Planetary Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars Project and this fact sheet from the LEGO Company.
Source: Kelly Young, floridatoday.com, June 7, 2003 with additional information from the Planetary Society and the LEGO Company
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