Lego has announced a high-tech model of the NASA Mars Perseverance Rover. It features 360-degree steering, a fully articulated suspension, and a movable arm. The kit arrives on 1 August 2023 for £84.99.

The model consists of 1,132 pieces, and Lego recommends this for builders who are at least 10 years old. When complete, it measures 32 centimetres (12.5 inches) long, 23 cm (9 in) wide, and 23 cm (9 in) tall. The details of the rover include imitations of the power unit, antennae, cameras, and scientific instruments. In addition, the kit includes a tiny version of the Ingenuity flying drone.

Gallery: Lego NASA Mars Rover Perseverance

The model isn't powered, but builders can roll the vehicle around and pretend to be on Mars. The kit comes with an augmented reality app that includes details of the rover and its mission.

The Perseverance rover launched on July 30, 2020, and landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. The craft aims to seek signs of ancient life on the planet and collect samples of rocks and soil.

In the real world, the Perseverance rover measures about 3 metres (10 feet) long without counting its arm probe, 2.7 metre (9 ft) wide, and 2.1 metre (7 ft) tall. It weighs a hefty 1,025 kilograms (2,260 pounds).

The sensors on the Perseverance include the Mastcam-Z that provides panoramic and stereoscopic imaging capability. The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyser monitors the temperature, wind speed, pressure, relative humidity, and dust size. The Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry is a fluorescence spectrometer for analysing chemical elements. The Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Experiment uses ground-penetrating radar to scan below the planet's ground. The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals tool uses an ultraviolet laser for checking mineralogy and detecting organic compounds. Finally, the SuperCam takes images, analyses chemical composition, studies minerals, and records audio with a microphone.

The Perseverance is also collecting rock and soil samples. NASA plans to launch an orbiter in 2027 and a lander in 2028 to collect those pieces and send them back to Earth. The specimens are supposed to come back to our planet in 2033.