one very small step for lego man

Canada (Two Teenagers + Lego Man) Takes Over American Space Program

Things have not been going so well for America’s space program. We had a sad when we read about how the Obama Administration basically told Barack he could not have any exciting or inspirational “moon shot” programs, because everything had to go to Wall Street (heh heh). So not only did “moon shot”-style inspirational programs such as the “national smart energy grid” or whatever get killed, but the actual NASA program to send people to the Moon and to Mars got killed. Granted, those programs were giant boondoggles and probably never would’ve sent anyone anywhere, except to federal prison for bribery, but …. And now two Canadian kids have sent a (Lego) man into space, for about $400.

The clever kids put their Lego man holding a Canadian flag on a little Lego gangplank attached to a cheap weather balloon, and soon history was made:

The mission was the result of the hard work and ingenuity of friends Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, who worked on their project during free time on weekends. It took them four months to complete and cost just $400.

The space-bound contraption the two 17-year-olds came up with comprised an $85 weather balloon, a homemade parachute, a Styrofoam box, three point-and-shoot cameras, a wide-angle video camera, and a cell phone loaded with a GPS app so they’d be able to find the thing when it (hopefully) returned to Earth.

The Lego hero actually went to space! And then he landed in his Space Ship about 75 miles away, and the teens stole a car or whatever — took public transportation, we bet! Oh Canada! — and picked up their contraption. Now they are heroes, and Newt Gingrich is down in Florida trying to turn the Kennedy Space Center into the Newt Gingrich Historical Whore Diamond Moonraker Adultery Space Motel. [Digital Trends]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

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    1. Lascauxcaveman

      You know how we yanks dispargingly call Canada "America's Hat?" They have all kinds of funny names for the US; "Canada's ________."

    2. TanzbodenKoenig

      or "US Americans," I fucking hate that were just goddam Americans alright we called it like 200 years ago, US American sounds smarmy and dumb just like everything else Canadians say

      1. Barb

        I shouldn't make fun of Canada. My husband has a job opportunity there and I don't want them to kick my ass back to the U.S.

          1. WunkRocker

            "Newt Gingrich Historical Whore Diamond Moonraker Adultery Space Motel" -So full of win that the sun wouldst melt the wax and make the wings fail. /Icarus

        1. Beowoof

          Lucky you with all that socialist health care and stuff. I wish I had way out of here. Too old to emigrate.

      2. Chichikovovich

        People started saying that instead of just "Americans" after I came to the 'States. If I had still been living there I would have stopped everybody from saying it. On the grounds of it being stupid.

    1. Tundra Grifter


      That couldn't be done with a weather balloon. It would take at least a blimp – if not a Zepplin.

        1. Tundra Grifter

          What's the difference between Russ Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?

          One is a bloated Nazi gasbag.

          The other is a dirigible.

    2. soeoho

      It seems the physics of thermal ambience (hot air) has been overlooked. He'd be well into the stratosphere with a physically lofty gain plus the collateral benefits of a reduction of global warming and Gingrichouse-gasses..

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Even the Saturn V isn't big enough to lift Newt to the heavens. I say we dig out some of our old nuclear bombs and see if a series of explosions will do it. I'm sure Newt will be happy to ride on top, given his interest in space.

  1. chascates

    I blame Canada for everything. Having better healthcare, more enlightened cannabis laws, not trying to run the world, and having so little gun violence.

    1. RedneckMuslin

      And a low cost space program. They'll probably take our jerbs and start sending our astros to the space station. Well, actually, taking Russian jerbs.

    2. JustPixelz

      I KNOW! When the Repubicans say Obama wants to make America like Europe, I say "bring it on". They live longer, have less crime, lower abortion rate (hear that Ricky S.), and whole place is like a great big Epcot.

    3. Lascauxcaveman

      Having better healthcare, more enlightened cannabis laws,

      Heh. Once again, my little town tucked up in the corner of Washington state shows it's really more Canadian that American. There is something inherently Canadian about swapping dope for bicycles.

    4. Negropolis

      Trust me; if they had 300,000,000 million people, they'd have an ego, too. You try taking over the world with a population less than that the state of California. Just sayin'.

  2. widestanceshakedown

    If these kids have the time to do this, they have plenty of time to mop a floor and learn the value of work.

    Oh, they're Canadian? Worse yet, they're already Saul Alinsky Marxists.

  3. Mahousu

    Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad

    Insert obligatory wild Chinese/Muslim space takeover conspiracy rant here.

  4. BaldarTFlagass

    "The mission was the result of the hard work and ingenuity of friends Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad,"

    Asad Muhammad!?!? Al Qaeda now has a rocket scientist? Truly we are doomed.

  5. SexySmurf

    And now two Canadian kids have sent a (Lego) man into space, for about $400.

    $350 of that was spent on the weed needed to come up with the idea in the first place.

  6. DerrickWildcat

    Newt Gingrich is the Tea Bagger's choice! Which makes sense since he has a PhD in European History. If there's four things that Tea Baggers love, it's College, Professors, Europe and History.

  7. freakishlywrong

    Maybe they can figure out how to pipe tar sands in to space so oil companies can reap huge profits. Or maybe re-route the fucking thing through Kentucky and Ohio.

    1. twaingirl

      No! We just got a ban on fracking here in Ohio! Don't give the legislature any more ideas.

      KY is already fucked. Use them and Indiana instead.

  8. chicken_thief

    Those ain't "real Canadians".. Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad is a chink and a mooslin attempting to force Sharia Space Law down our galaxy's throat. Now that they have taken over the White House they are going after the moon and beyond!!!!

    1. SorosBot

      We're gonna lose Mars to the Chinese-Muslim alliance if we don't get there quick! Another $100 billion to Boeing ASAP!!

    2. prommie

      "Where else but the US, or possibly Canada, would a family of immigrants have the opportunity to build a succesful chain of discount wheel-balancing centers?"

  9. Goonemeritus

    I refuse to ceed space to a nation with someone else’s Queen on their money.

    Edit— Real Canadians would have used Mega Bloks.

      1. MilwaukeeKent

        Hey that's my great great uncle — you watch what you say about "The Fiver"!
        If you're talking about the rumor that he hired his brother-in-law to run the post office…

  10. JustPixelz

    "…the hard work and ingenuity of friends Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad"

    The Sharia Law of Gravity shall not be enforced in the U.S.A.

    Will they build a moon base in Canada? Will Americans be able to tell the difference?

    But our cheez fries technology is decades ahead of Canada. USA! USA! USA!

      1. James Michael Curley

        Place on Fifth Ave in Pittsburgh used to take the fries, put on cheddar cheese curds (probably just melted and separated cheddar cheese) heat it under the broiler, then put on a ladle of dark brown gravy. Only place in Pittsburgh and it was thirty years ago.

  11. Tundra Grifter

    This sending weather balloons up into space with a camera thing is going to get out of hand. I have a bad feeling about one of these being run into by a 747…

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Yeah, those and all those Canada geese that get sucked into jet engines every day. Why does Canada hate civil aviation?

    2. bagofmice

      Let's see, a plastic bag, a few legos, and a cell phone meet 975,000 pounds of plane travelling at 400 miles an hour. I wonder what will happen.

  12. jus_wonderin

    If we could just send up a self replicating nanite, we could maybe finally build a cool set of Ray Ban Aviator shades so we could look at solar eclipes without pinholes and sheets of cardboard.

      1. Tundra Grifter

        WIN !!!

        Don't forget, Japan, Italy, and Germany (twice) were against us before they were for us. Russia, of course, was for us before they were against us. And after they quit the Great War like an Alaskan governor.

    1. Steverino247

      Those were trial runs to see if the delivery system worked as any news about fires would be unlikely targets of wartime censorship. If the delivery platforms worked well enough, the delivery of biological warfare weapons were next. See Unit 731's activities here:

      Plague fleas from Canada? Not likely, but keep trying boys!

  13. BaldarTFlagass

    I keep waiting for Mr Hands and Sluggo to show up in that video and fuck that Canadian astronaut's shit up.

  14. chascates

    $400 is pretty cheap compared to the way America does things but it doesn't supply money to our glorious free market. The U.S. way:
    The Defense Department has spent about $330 million so far to develop about 20 of the bombs (HUGE bunker busters!), which are built by Boeing Co. The Pentagon is seeking about $82 million more to make the bomb more effective, according to government officials briefed on the plan.

    That's a little over 20 million bucks for one bomb that's almost guaranteed to start another Mideast war. Canada can explore space on the cheap. We'll spend fortunes to stir up hatred for America.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Jumping in with Canadian trivia at the smallest opportunity? The most important characteristic of the true Canadian!

        Welcome, brother.
        Bienvenue, mon chum

    1. Chichikovovich

      Oh, oh. Prepare for thousands of outraged Canadians saying "It's worth as much as the US dollar now, sometimes more!"

  15. Mumbletypeg

    So now we know where all that innovative aptitude's been hiding: the youth of Canada.
    No surprise it couldn't get any footing in the U. S. of A. I liken this innovative capacity, personify or characterize it even, to a jaded and somewhat amusement-challenged MumbletyYoungster back in the day. Who, like this fabled Innovation Spirit, spent some time looking over the options for joy rides at the theme park — 'Thunder Road' ("USA! USA!"); 'White Lightning' ("We're No. 1! Proud to be an American); then ditched these local thrillbillies for Space Mountain, natch.

  16. prommie

    This just proves the arguments of the free-marketeers and the libertarians, bold, inventive entrepeneurs can do anything the government does, and do it better, faster, leaner, and meaner! Give these boys a billion-dollar contract to supply the ISS, using weather balloons and lego astronauts! Yay!

      1. prommie

        Yes, there is a little bit of a science problem, isn't there? I guess this does not prove the theories of the free-marketers and libertarians to be correct after all, those theories fail to take into account the enormous cost of overcoming these technical issues. I am so glad you have turned my head on this, I was about to go vote for Ron Paul.

  17. AnAmericanInTO

    This is such a great story and a happy counterpoint to the depressing Shafia honor killing trial that resulted in a pissed off judge and three pieces of garbage spending a looooong ass time in prison.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Thank God that trial is finally over. Every day I would check the newspaper online [OK, OK, Christie Blatchford in the National Post, so not really a newspaper. But nobody does outrage like Blatchford.] And every time I did, I wanted to march up to Kingston and strangle those three smug weasels myself.

  18. JackDempsey1

    I hope they kept the camera on long enough to capture the footage where the lizard thing bursts out of Mr. Lego's chest cavity.

    1. James Michael Curley

      But at the end you see the Lego Sigourney Weaver strip down to her underwear and Meh! Eh?

  19. edgydrifter

    The Dominion of Callista (formerly known as "space and all the shit in it") is newtficially US territory now–hands off, Canadia!

  20. DaRooster

    And then he landed in his Space Ship about 75 miles away, and the teens stole a car or whatever — took public transportation, we bet! Oh Canada! — and picked up their contraption contraception.

    At 17 it really can be embarrassing asking for that stuff in your home town.

  21. SayItWithWookies

    While aloft, the Legonaut sent back a message: "Hey, this looks just like Canada — there's nobody here, either."

    1. LiveToServeYa

      Yes, I remember this. But you can't expect Ken to pay attention to achievements of Americans when he's busy pointing to the furreners whupping our asses every which way. How do you expect him to make his point?

  22. widestanceshakedown

    But, where's the decontamination period to prevent this improvised exploration device from bringing Space AIDS back to earth?

  23. soeoho

    It seems the physics of thermal ambience (hot air) has been overlooked. He'd be well into the stratosphere with a physically lofty gain plus the collateral benefits of a reduction of global warming and Gingrichouse-gasses..

  24. Extemporanus

    Too bad the boys didn't have another five Loonies to play with, or they could've gotten a space-suited Lego man and made something other than a frozen-smiled snuff film for toy torturers.

  25. MissTaken

    Until Canadians figure out that Halifax is 4 hours ahead of SF and quit sending me conference call requests for 6 am they can suck my big toe.

        1. SorosBot

          I know; I was surprised to see a bunch of comments from you that must have been around six AM your time. Will you at least get to go home early in return?

  26. Chichikovovich

    You people are saying mean things about us in this thread. Truly, Canadians are the most persecuted people on the continent. Worse than Christians, even.

  27. owhatever

    Doesn't anyone beside visionary Newt see the real danger of letting Canadian kids sending unauthorized Lego Klingon ballloons into space whenever they get bored? Next, they will attach firecrackers to their battle cruisers and attack our potential 51st state moon colony! If Canada won't deal with them, one of our teams of trained seals will do the job just fine.

    1. Fare la Volpe

      So Canada has tons of homosexuality, rampant incest, and absolutely no in-fighting as a result? Sounds about right.

  28. BigDumbRedDog

    Canadians get everything wrong. This should have been a lego space man with his little lego helmet and little lego oxygen tank. Or at least a lego star wars character. I am going to shoot my entire lego moon command center from the eighties up into space, followed by my lego medieval castle and lego fire station just for the hell of it.

  29. thefrontpage

    The Zoraks, the indigenous people who have lived on the Moon for the last 1 billion years, issued this statement today, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012:

    "The Zoraks have told the Lego People and the Canadiens repeatedly that they will not stand for any permanent, or temporary, type of 'base' on Zorak land on the Moon, which is pretty much most of the Moon. We have also told the Americans, the Russians, the Japanese and the Norwegians, which for some reason have a space program, that we will not tolerate any bases on our lands on the Moon, and any attempts to construct such bases will be met with force. The Zoraks have lived peacefully on the Moon for more than 1 billion years, and we intend to continue living on our rightful, legal lands for another 1 billion years." The Zoraks number about 350,000, but they have been the rightful, legal owners of most of the lands on the Moon for more than 1 billion years. They are led by the Zorak family, which has ruled the Moon lands for more than 1 billion years.

  30. Larry McAwful

    They must have gotten their building materials from the European Space Agency. They're grateful to Denmark for supplying them, no doubt.

  31. Come here a minute

    Before this decade is out, these Canucks will land a Lego toy on the Moon and return it safely to Earth, for less than the cost of 1000 Tim Horton's jelly donuts.

  32. Data Exactly

    I thought there's not supposed to be any sound in space, yet we can hear rustling in the background or something?!?

  33. Tundra Grifter

    I am not an expert. However, I can't imagine a good end if a cell phone, 4 cameras, long lengths of paracord, and/or a weather balloon get sucked into a jet engine. I mean, look at the damage a freakin' bird can do…

  34. imissopus

    I think they stole the idea from that Citibank commercial.

    Also, not to take away from what these kids did because it is pretty cool, but their balloon only went about 16 or 17 miles up. The generally agreed-upon demarcation between Earth's atmosphere and outer space is the Karman Line, and it's 62 miles up. So Lego Man would have had to go quite a bit higher to get into outer space.

  35. Negropolis

    Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad

    Lemme guess: metro Toronto, right? You know, it so wasn't right for them to call that Mathew kid names. Ho? Grow up.

    Meh. You were warned, Canada. You know what we do to countries that make us look bad, don't you? That's a nice country you got there; it'd be a shame if anything happened to America Jr…A non-weaponized weather balloon? How Canadian.

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