Trailblazing women who have been instrumental in NASA’s space program are being honored in a special way: as LEGO toys. The company just displayed the final design, with an official launch date for the 231-piece set that includes four women: Mae Jemison, Sally Ride, Margaret Hamilton, and Nancy Grace Roman.
Science writer and LEGO tinkerer Maia Weinstock proposed the idea for Women of NASA on the LEGO Ideas platform last summer – and reached 10,000 supporters in 15 days. LEGO designers Gemma Anderson and Marie Sertillanges got on board to help transform the idea into an official set, which will launch November 1.
Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, while Mae Jemison was the first woman of color in space. Nancy Grace Roman was the first woman to hold an executive role at NASA, and was instrumental in planning the Hubble Telescope. Margaret Hamilton “led the team that developed the building blocks of software engineering – a term that she coined herself,” according to NASA.
Weinstock said in a statement, “…when girls and women are given more encouragement in the STEM fields, they become more likely to pursue careers in these areas. With this project, I wanted to spotlight a fantastic group of women who have made seminal contributions to NASA history. My dream would be to know that the first human on Mars – or an engineer or computer scientist who helped her get there – played with the LEGO Women of NASA as a child and was inspired to pursue a STEM career as a result.”
The original proposal included five women, but according to a LEGO statement, “Katherine Johnson chose not to be part of the set.”
If you’re in the New York City area, there will be a pre-release event October 28 at the Flatiron District LEGO store on 200 5th Avenue from 10 AM to 2 PM. You can check out details on the Facebook event page here.
Images via LEGO