LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery 10283 Review & Lighting Journal

It feels like an entire orbit ago that LEGO released a NASA Space set, but just when we were starting to stare off towards the stars and wonder when we'd get another addition to the galactic group, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery 10283 set has permission to launch!


We’re all galaxy sized fans of all things LEGO Space, and the NASA series is no exception. Some of our all time favourite sets include the Saturn V, the ISS and of course the Lunar Lander!

LEGO have kept up the attention to detail on this one! Not only is the awesome shuttle set packed full of realistic engineering details, there's an equally engaging Hubble Space Telescope build included! The actual telescope was originally deployed from the Space Shuttle Discovery by NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan in 1990, the first American woman to ever complete a spacewalk!



A moderate 2354 piece count, the Expert Creator shuttle measures in at 21 cm high, 54 cm long and 34 cm wide. An enjoyable build process for our team, who really got a lesson in aerospace engineering with this one! The set has a seriously official* feel to it with all the moving mechanical details like the retractable landing gear and the swivelling wing flaps. All in all a great build process, even adhering the stickers had an official feel to it!


Once the build was complete it was obviously time for the design team to solve the challenge of lighting the shuttle and sending it into orbit!


First was the question of the telescope - should it be positioned in the payload bay? or displayed alongside the shuttle? The answer? Why not both! It was actually fairly easy for our team to design the light kit as such that it’s quite easy to light the telescope either way and then switch between the two to change things up. This isn’t always the case when a LEGO set has multiple build or display options, as we saw with last months release of the Porsche 911 Turbo! That LEGO set in particular meant that the assembler has to decide which main direction they want their kit wired in, as it’s quite a lot of work to switch! Not the case this time around with the NASA Shuttle.

One clever team member suggested the novel use of our NC Push Board to engage and disengage the payload bay lights! Normally the NC Push Board is used for LEGO automobile sets, however this proved to be an awesome opportunity to use the handy component in an alternative way.

The lights switch off when the payload bay doors are closed, and while the pieces are opaque, the lights are bright enough to be seen switching off in tandem with the doors. A really effective trick! Speaking of effects boards, the kit wouldn't be complete without some flickering for those powerful jets and a Multi Effects Board to light each wing up.

Our design team felt that this completed the kit, after all it was an authentic space agency tone we were aiming for… however looking at the Shuttle sitting there on it’s display stand emitting a healthy glow it did dawn on us that something was missing? Which of course was the luminous glow of planet earth shining up on the shuttle!

Enter our trusty spotlights! Which give any light kit the extra display-ability it needs by allowing a Bit Light to shine on the intended set as opposed to out of it like the majority of the kit.

Two spotlights did the trick, they can be positioned to focus on the shuttle itself - or on the corresponding NASA Shuttle and Hubble Telescope display panels!


Permission to launch... granted! We so excited to see LEGO adding to the NASA Space series and what a set to return with! Will you be adding the NASA Shuttle Discovery and Hubble Telescope to your collection? Let us know in the comments below and keep an eye on the stars. It's time to light up!

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