LEGO To Launch “Women In NASA” Collection

From left to right: Margaret Hamilton, Katherine Johnson, Sally Ride, Nancy Grace Roman, and Mae Jemison. Maia Weinstock

These days, you’ve only really made it if you’ve been immortalized in LEGO. Just ask Batman. So riding high on the renewed interest in the “hidden figures” of space science, LEGO has announced it will be releasing a new “Women of NASA” collection, set to be available either late this year or early 2018.

The Women of NASA collection was proposed by US science writer Maia Weinstock as part of the LEGO Ideas project that takes place twice a year, allowing fans to pitch ideas to the company. Weinstock’s collection of five notable women in science was picked up by the company after it received more than 10,000 public votes.

LEGO Ideas spokeswoman Lise Dydensborg announced the company was excited to go ahead with Weinstock's idea, following on from its first-ever set of female-only scientists, also a LEGO Ideas proposal, back in 2014.

"As a science editor and writer, with a strong personal interest in space exploration as well as the history of women in science and engineering, Maia Weinstock's Women of NASA project was a way for her to celebrate accomplished women in the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] professions," Dydensborg said in a statement.

"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,” said Weinstock in her proposal.

So who are these awesome women?

Katherine Johnson

You’ve probably heard of Johnson recently due to the popularity of the book and subsequent Oscar-nominated film, Hidden Figures. Johnson was one of the many “human computers”, women of color employed by NASA in the early days of the space program. A mathematician and physicist, she calculated the trajectory of the rocket that sent Alan Shepherd, the first Amercian, into space.

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Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamiton worked for MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s. A computer scientist and systems engineer, she designed and developed the onboard flight software used for the Apollo missions to the Moon, which was later adapted and used by the Space Shuttle. Last year, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, the highest civilian award in the US.

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