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LEGO to make Women of NASA set of female space pioneers (PHOTOS)

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Jenni Sheppard Mar 02, 2017 5:40 am 394

LEGO is making a new Women of NASA set, based on five real-life female space pioneers, including scientists, astronauts and an astronomer.

The Women of NASA set was created by Maia Weinstock, deputy editor of MIT News and LEGO fan, who entered the set in the LEGO Ideas competition.

Describing her idea online, Weinstock says women have played critical roles throughout the history of the US space program.

“Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated — especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM),” she wrote.

“This proposed set celebrates five notable NASA pioneers and provides an educational building experience to help young ones and adults alike learn about the history of women in STEM.”

The five women to be included in the new Women of NASA set are:

Margaret Hamilton – computer scientist

Mockup of the new LEGO minifig of computer scientist Margaret Hamilton (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Hamilton standing next to the navigation software she and her team at MIT produced for NASA's Apollo project in 1969 (Draper Laboratory/Wikipedia)

Mockup of the new LEGO minifig of computer scientist Margaret Hamilton (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Hamilton standing next to the navigation software she and her team at MIT produced for NASA’s Apollo project in 1969 (Draper Laboratory/Wikipedia)

While working at MIT under contract with NASA, Hamilton developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama for her work on the Apollo Moon missions.

Katherine Johnson – mathematician and space scientist

Mockup of the new LEGO minifig of mathematician and space scientist Katherine Johnson (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Katherine Johnson at NASA in 1966 (Public Domain/Wikipedia)

Mockup of the new LEGO minifig of mathematician and space scientist Katherine Johnson (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Katherine Johnson at NASA in 1966 (Public Domain/Wikipedia)

A longtime NASA researcher, Johnson is best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs — including the Apollo 11 mission that first landed humans on the moon. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

Sally Ride – astronaut, physicist, and educator

A mockup of the new LEGO minifig of astronaut, physicist and educator Sally Ride (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Sally Ride in space in 1983 (U.S. Information Agency/Wikipedia)

A mockup of the new LEGO minifig of astronaut, physicist and educator Sally Ride (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Sally Ride in space in 1983 (U.S. Information Agency/Wikipedia)

Originally a physicist, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. After retiring as a NASA astronaut, she founded an educational company focusing on encouraging children — especially girls — to pursue the sciences. She died in 2012.

Nancy Grace Roman – astronomer

A mockup of the new LEGO minifig of astronomer Nancy Grace Roman (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Nancy Grace Roman with a model of the Orbiting Solar Observatory (NASA/Wikipedia)

A mockup of the new LEGO minifig of astronomer Nancy Grace Roman (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Nancy Grace Roman with a model of the Orbiting Solar Observatory (NASA/Wikipedia)

Nancy Grace Roman was one of the first female executives at NASA, and she is known to many as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. She also developed NASA’s astronomy research program.

Mae Jemison – astronaut, physician, and entrepreneur

A mockup of the new LEGO minifig of astronaut Mae Jemison (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Mae Jemison in 1992 (NASA/Wikipedia)

A mockup of the new LEGO minifig of astronaut Mae Jemison (Maia Weinstock/Flickr) and the real-life Mae Jemison in 1992 (NASA/Wikipedia)

Mae Jemison trained as a medical doctor, and became the first African-American woman in space in 1992. After retiring from NASA, Jemison established a company that develops new technologies and encourages students in the sciences.

The new Women of NASA LEGO set design also includes a desktop display frame, vignettes depicting various vignettes, a microscale Hubble Space Telescope and display, and a mini space shuttle, complete with external tank and solid rocket boosters.

Here are some more sneak peeks of the new Women of NASA LEGO set, which could go on sale in 2018:

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Jenni Sheppard
Jenni is a former Senior Staff Writer at Daily Hive. Happy Vancouverite. Traveller, snowboarder, foodie, film fan, feminist, geek, cheesemaker, curler.

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