'Women of NASA' Lego set to be launched in November

This new Lego set marks the celebration of the amazing and historic contributions of four space pioneers


Are you a fan of Lego mini figures? Well, NASA is on its way to launch an amazing and historical new Lego mini figures' set, which would be available from November 1 for purchase.

"Women of NASA" is the new Lego Ideas set coming out of the space agency's stable, which includes NASA astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman and computer scientist Margaret Hamilton. Based on a fan-proposed and designed idea, these sets would be the representations of these four female space pioneers. Three Lego builds will recreate the spacecraft and settings where these women had created history, reported collectSPACE.com.

"Great for role playing space exploration missions. Explore the professions of some of the groundbreaking women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with the LEGO Ideas Women of NASA set," said LEGO at a press conference. The 231-piece building toy will retail for $24.99.

Here are the four women of NASA that are being celebrated with the Lego set:

Nancy Grace Roman – Nancy Grace Roman is an accomplished astronomer, who had joined NASA back in 1959, just one year after the space agency was founded. She was the first chief of astronomy of NASA. In the Lego set, she is paired with a small posable model of the Hubble Space Telescope and a projected image of a planetary nebula. Roman is well known to many as the "Mother of Hubble," as she had played a significant role in planning the honored orbiting observatory.

Margaret Hamilton - Margaret Hamilton and her team of software engineers were roped in by NASA from MIT's instrumentation laboratory in Boston to develop the software for the Apollo spacecraft, which had carried astronauts to the moon. Hamilton-led team's computer programming played a critical role during the final few minutes of the first lunar landing in 1969. It was because of Hamilton and her team's work that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin didn't have to abort their approach. Hamilton's mini figure is paired with a build that recreates an iconic photo of her standing with a tower of documents, which were the printouts of her Apollo Guidance Computer code.

Sally Ride – Sally Ride was selected for NASA's 1978 astronaut class, which was the first ever class to include women and minorities. In 1983, she became the first American woman to fly in space. She was a part of two shuttle missions. In addition to her role as an astronaut, Ride was also a physicist and an advocate for science education, especially for young girls.

Mae Jemison – Mae Jemison, who was a physician and an engineer too, became the first African American woman to fly into space in 1992. She logged nearly eight days in the space shuttle Endeavour. An astronaut from 1987 through 1993, Mae Jemison today leads the 100 Year Starship project.

While 92-year-old Roman, Hamilton, 81, and 60-year-old Jemison are still alive to witness their 1.5-inch-tall Lego mini figure selves, Ride died in 2012 at the age of 61.

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The idea and design of the "Women of NASA" Lego set were proposed by one Maia Weinstock on the Lego Ideas website. Weinstock is an editor, writer and producer of science and children's media, as well as the deputy editor at MIT News. He had first submitted the idea in July 2016 and it took only two weeks for her project to achieve the 10,000 votes that were needed for a Lego production review. The idea was chosen for production this February, reported the publication.

Weinstock's original proposal also included a fifth figure honoring NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, the "human computer." According to Lego, Johnson's figure was omitted as the company couldn't get the approval for her inclusion. "We naturally fully respect this decision," a Lego spokesman told collectSPACE.com.

This article was first published on October 21, 2017