A grandfather recently went to great lengths to encourage his grandchild's dreams of becoming an astronaut. While some might buy their grandkids a toy rocket or an astronaut plushie, the incredibly creative grandad built an entire mini NASA space module, a Reddit post reveals.
Reddit user Robsonthebeach posted a video showing off the impressive creation alongside a description in which they say "my nephew wants to be an astronaut... His grandfather just showed up with this "module" out on nowhere! I'm blown away."
A backyard moon landing
Impressively, the rest of the family was kept in the dark until the machine was finished and "landed" in the backyard for the grandchild to play with. "People have been asking for more info," the Reddit user wrote in a comment below their original post. "My brother just made the video for our family and I asked if I could post it as I thought you would all get a kick out of it. All I know at the moment is that my nephew's grandfather knew that my nephew loved space and wants to be an astronaut. He built this in his shed as a one-off project and none of us knew about it until it 'landed'."
As can be seen in the video below, the shed-made landing module is incredibly detailed and tactile, with plenty of functional buttons and screens for the grandchild to play with as he pretends he's landing on the Moon or a distant planet.
The shuttle includes a small radar dish on the outside, an escape hatch, and doors into the interior of the module. Thrusters on the outside of the spacecraft even let out steam and the exterior is decorated with a SpaceX logo and NASA's classic worm logo, which was recently revived for SpaceX's first human spaceflight last year.
On the inside, "everything on the [control] panel does something," the father of the child explains as he gives a tour. The control panel includes a radar screen, backlights, as well as shut down and initiation buttons that need to be pressed in the correct sequence. Small seats allow young space travelers to strap in for the ride, while buttons on the roof turn on the cabin lighting, a small fan, and turn the radar dish on the roof.
Space-themed toys and toys in space
Adults involved in professional space travel often say they wish to capture the minds and hearts of future generations in the same way they were captivated by space as children. That's part of the reason why there's a long list of children's toys that have gone up to space with astronauts in recent years. A Baby Yoda toy, for example, blew up the internet when it was spotted floating in zero-g aboard SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon capsule. Impressively, astronaut Karen Nyberg also sewed a toy dinosaur for her son Jack while she was stationed on the ISS in 2013.
While the mini NASA space module may not have been crafted in zero gravity, it will no doubt travel to the far reaches of the solar system and beyond in the young grandchild's imagination. The intricate backyard machine is a testament to dreaming big and what can be achieved with a little creativity, a lot of know-how, and a shed full of tools.