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LEGO Life on Mars Blasts into Outer Space!

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ENFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 31, 2001

--Cosmonauts perform first-ever toy experiment on the I.S.S.

for kids--

The LEGO Company, one of the world's leading toy companies, teamed up with Space Media, Inc.(TM) and RSC Energia to conduct the first-ever toy experiment performed on the International Space Station (I.S.S.). The LEGO(R) Life on Mars "Red Planet Protector" set, along with 300 miniature LEGO aliens, blasted into outer space on the Soyuz 206 ("2S") launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Russia to the I.S.S.

Cosmonauts Talgat Musabaev, Soyuz Commander, and Yuri Baturin, flight engineer, performed a videotaped experiment to measure mass in space and the importance of learning to live and work in a zero-gravity environment. Using the LEGO Life on Mars Red Planet Protector model, they were able to demonstrate how the mass of an object is determined in a weightless environment by measuring its oscillation frequency.

"Using LEGO Life on Mars toys to perform the first toy-based experiment on the I.S.S. is exciting, because kids are learning about science and space in a fun, new and creative way," says Yuri Baturin, flight engineer on the Soyuz 206. "This is a one-of-a-kind, breakthrough experiment that's never been done before."

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to be the first educational toy demonstration on the I.S.S," says Andrew Black, president of LEGO Systems, Inc. "We pride ourselves on developing products for kids of all ages that are not only fun, but encourage creativity and learning at the same time. This in-orbit experiment propels our brand value to new heights. We hope that when kids see this scientific demonstration using LEGO toys--something they're familiar with--that it will spark an interest to learn more about science and space."

The Red Planet Protector that actually flew on the I.S.S. will be displayed inside the LEGO Life on Mars Encounter Truck Tour, an interactive, hands-on exhibit for families, which is traveling throughout North America starting in June. The truck is packed with both realistic space artifacts and creative Mars- and space-themed displays. The 300 LEGO aliens that visited the I.S.S. are being awarded to a select number of kids who enter the LEGO Life on Mars Survival Challenge building contest. The contest championship will take place at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this September in Florida. Curriculum for the videotaped experiment was developed by Challenger Center for Space Science Education and has been distributed to its network of Challenger Learning Centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, to teach kids about the difference between measuring the mass of objects on Earth versus in a zero-gravity environment.

The new LEGO Life on Mars line, comprised of eight products ranging in price from $3.99 to $89.99 (USD), launched in January and currently is a top-selling toy line at retail.

For b-roll or photographs, please contact:

Melinda Carter

LEGO Systems, Inc.

Tel: 860-763-6696

E-mail: melinda.carter@america.LEGO.com

LEGO Systems, Inc. (LSI) is the Americas (North America and Latin America) division of the LEGO Company, a privately-held firm based in Billund, Denmark. The LEGO Company employs nearly 2,000 people in the Americas - approximately one half of whom work at LSI's 203-acre headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut. The LEGO Company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough." Visit www.LEGO.com.

Space Media, Inc. (TM) (SMI) SPACEHAB subsidiary Space Media, Inc., was created in January 2000 to develop multimedia business for the Enterprise commercial space station habitat project. Space Media will be producing space-focused content for TV broadcasting and Internet distribution based on exclusive access to Enterprise.

In the near term, Space Media is focusing on space education, online retailing, and content development. Space Media operates the STARS(R) global education program, which enables students to design experiments that are then flown in space. For more information on the program, see www.starsprogram.com. In July 2000, Space Media acquired The Space Store (www.thespacestore.com), an online retail business that offers hundreds of space-related items for sale. Space Media has access to archives of the Russian space program for its content development initiatives.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, located 45 minutes east of Orlando on Florida's Space Coast, a day becomes an odyssey as guests experience the past, present and future of America's space program. Guests can also meet a real astronaut, touch a piece of Mars and experience IMAX(R) space films. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Challenger Center for Space Science Education was created in 1986 by the families of the astronauts tragically lost during the Challenger space shuttle mission in January of that year. Dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission, Challenger Center develops learning centers and other educational programs worldwide to continue the mission to engage students in science and math education.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 31, 2001
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