Lego is about to pay tribute to the five female leaders in space exploration as the toy company is working on a new “Women of NASA” play set.
The idea for the set was proposed by science writer Maia Weinstock on Lego’s ideas page, and the proposal has garnered over 10,000 supporters prior to its approval. Weinstock said that women have played important roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program, yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or underappreciated.
“Women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM),” Weinstock wrote.
The proposed set celebrates five notable NASA pioneers, with the intent to help children and adults alike learn about the history of women in STEM. The five women who will be depicted in the “Women of NASA” set are Margaret Hamilton, Katherine Johnson, Sally Ride, Nancy Grace Roman, and Mae Jemison.
Hamilton is a computer scientist who worked at MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960’s. She developed the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon and is known for popularizing the modern concept of software.
Johnson is a mathematician and scientist and worked as a human “computer” for NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA. She calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Her time with NACA was depicted in the movie “Hidden Figures.”
Ride is an astronaut, physicist, and educator and was the first American woman in space in 1983. Meanwhile, Roman is one of the first female executives at NASA and is known to many as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. Jemison is a medical doctor and is the first African-American woman in space in 1992.
Weinstock’s model of the “Women of NASA” which she made for her proposal is not the final product. Lego said that they are still working on the final design, pricing, and availability of the set, and more details will be released in late 2017 or early 2018.
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