# How many Lego bricks would it take to build a tower to the moon?

Asked by HungryGuy (16008) July 24th, 2010

How many Lego bricks would it take to build a tower to the moon?

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40.5 billion.

Did you just make that up, or is there math behind that number?

HungryGuy (16008)

The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that the number of Lego pieces required to build a tower to the Moon is approximately 40.041.979.166,666666666666666666667.

ragingloli (47689)

So we have a concurrence for about 40 billion, give or take half a billion…

HungryGuy (16008)

But that is only this year. You will have to add about 4 pieces each year to cover the distance the moon has moved away from earth.

ragingloli (47689)

If you want to get started, you can have the Legos littered around my son’s room. There’s always one that never makes it back into the bin, and I always manage to step on it and it always hurts like hell.

MissAusten (16142)

I’d need to know the dimensions of a standard Lego brick.

Ivan (13444)
HungryGuy (16008)

@Ivan
8mm x 8mm x 9.6mm + 2mm for the bumps (lxwxh + h(b))

ragingloli (47689)

Okay, I’ll assume that we’re stacking the bricks one on top of another, each brick being 8mm tall.

The semi-major axis of the Moon is (taking Wikipedia’s number as truth) 384,399 km, or 384,399,000m, and each brick is 8mm, or 0.008m.

So dividing one by the other, you get roughly 48.05 million bricks.

This is roughly the average number of bricks required, as the orbit of the Moon is actually an ellipse, meaning that it’s closer to us some times and further away from us other times.

Ivan (13444)

I recommend using malleable lego bricks.

mattbrowne (31633)

Actually, each Lego brick will have to be a single molecule made out of carbon atoms, like a carbon-nanotube, but called something like “carbon-legobrick.”

HungryGuy (16008)