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
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
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
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
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
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: