13 December 2023

LEGO® Technic Space theme revealed by its designers

Posted by Admin

LEGO® Space is back! Sort of. There have been lots of 2024 set reveals showing that many lines are including space themed sets, but one line where this trend is certainly obvious is LEGO® Technic. A mix of real-world, educational and future fantasy space models are planned for March 2024 which we saw back in September at Recognised LEGO Fan Media Days in Denmark.

Read on to see what Lee Magpili, Senior Model Designer and Samuel Tacchi, Designer had to say about this thrilling new development!

At Fan Media Days, the designers explained their brief was to make a spaceship and a futuristic vehicle. Designs started with the functions, and then the “prettification” happened. 

For the colour scheme they chose White, Light Bluish Gray and the new-for-2024 colour 402 Reddish Orange. The new hue was not introduced by this theme - it simply arrived at a convenient time, when they were choosing colours. They could pick and choose which elements got a recolour, and in this article you can see the variety of Technic panels and beams chosen.

New moulds include a large Technic hemisphere in Yellow and and a smaller one in White, and in Blue with an Earth globe print. Apparently there is a new kind of knob gear; it might be Light Bluish Gray but we haven't seen a proper picture as yet. There are large grey tyres that evoke the metal mesh of real lunar rovers. Note also the windshield in the new Trans-Black.

The theme is a collaboration with NASA, but they were not the only influence: of course, LEGO history had its place too. Just look at that Classic Space logo on the NASA rover, and of course on all the boxes! It's an appropriate development, given the influence that NASA design had upon LEGO Space model design and box art from the very beginning. The designers said M:Tron influenced the design too, as well as LEGO Mindstorms. Advice was sought from LEGO Innovation House as well as the designers from the Classic era.

42180 Mars Crew Exploration Rover

What would LEGO Space be without a rover?

  • €149.99 
  • 1599 pieces
  • 11+ age mark
  • 1 March 2024

This vehicle has 6-wheel full suspension. Aurélien Rouffiange explained how the top opens to reveal the crew quarters, “like a camper van for space”! Guess what NASA asked LEGO to include here? Toilets! (They must be LEGO Friends fans.)

There's a crane for cargo and an elevator on the rear to get onto flatbed. Cargo cans are included, for waste or collecting samples of water, hydrogen and air.

They also noted during development that the vehicle is too long to be able to transport itself around a planet's surface, so the team added a spectacular function: the model concertinas inward to reduce its length. It can still be driven in this compact mode.

Just like Classic Space, the set comes with a mini rover inside, which of course comes with accessories like a hammer and chainsaw.

This LEGO Technic set has more integration with LEGO System than usual, but those elements were used for details. It's “kinda minifig scale”, with the tyres and seat panels establishing the model's size.

42181 VTOL Heavy Cargo Spaceship

And what would LEGO Space be without a spaceship?

  • €99.99 
  • 1365 pieces
  • 10+ age mark
  • 1 March 2024

The nacelles rotate, there are details inside, and it has a self-levelling cockpit!

Just like some of the Classic spaceships, you can deploy the interior cargo. And what's inside the box? 

Why a rover of course!

42178 Surface Space Loader LT78

  • €34.99 
  • 435 pieces
  • 8+ age mark
  • 1 March 2024

Despite being the smallest, this vehicle has working suspension!

42179 Planet Earth and Moon in Orbit

This is the third LEGO orrery in as many months! They're like London buses...you wait forever and then they all come at once.

  • €79.99
  • 526 pieces
  • 10+ age mark
  • 1 March 2024

We weren't shown this model at Fan Media Days so don't have additional details from the designers. Those spheres look fascinating though!


These new Space sets have an industrial realness, which the new Reddish Orange colour fits perfectly. The larger sets are packed with fun functions, and we just love how these tie back into LEGO history. 
What do you think?

READ MORE: 80054 Megapolis City: interview with LEGO® Monkie Kid™ designer Wen Xiaodong

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  1. FINALLY! Space themed Lego that is imaginatively futuristic and NOT Star Wars. If only they could have brought back the Technic fig and scaled these to it.

    1. They're actually designed to be compatible with minifigures.

  2. Third orrery? I missed one somewhere. (The one in the Natural History Museum is really slick.)

    1. I assume they mean the small one in the Galileo GWP set.

    2. I'd missed that, thanks!

  3. quite boring sets tbh. the orrery is mechanically interesting but there are better MOCs around

  4. Any ideas what the graphic on the box art next to the QR code is about? Some app feature visualising what’s inside the frame piece where it appears in model (cargo, airlock etc)?

    1. I don't think it's an app—think it's meant to signify how it's compatible with the other Technic, City, and Friends sets that use that cockpit (and link to a site where you will presumably be able to find a list of compatible sets).

  5. Not to sound pessimistic but I hope that the August technic sets are a space station or a bigger space shuttle. I'm getting the whole line on March 1.

    1. A Space Shuttle would be grandiose indeed, and the perfect subject matter for this 2024's large set! It's been many, many years since 8480, and Technic has evolved a lot since to allow (even) better functions and looks.

  6. Boring.. they lack any cool mechanisms or must have play features