The toy company LEGO will produce a “Women of NASA” collection that will include a set of five figures based on women who worked for NASA.
The science writer Maia Weinstock had submitted the idea to LEGO Ideas, a website dedicated collecting ideas from fans for new LEGO sets. After designing their set, a participant has to then gain 10,000 supporters in order for the LEGO Review Board to consider it. The Board meets three times a year during the months of January, May and September to discuss the qualifying projects. It then takes about six months to produce a chosen project and ship it to stores around the world.
Weinstock’s idea beat eleven other competitors, including one who had proposed a LEGO version of a Large Hadron Collider.
The “Women of NASA” collection will include Nancy Grace Roman, Sally Ride, Katherine Johnson, Mae Jemison and Margaret Hamilton. Roman, sometimes called the “Mother of Hubble,” was a NASA executive and astronomer who was one of the key figures in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. She also developed the astronomy research program at NASA.
Sally Ride is a physicist and astronaut. In 1983, she became the first American Woman to go into space. She also founded an educational company that encourages children, especially girls, to pursue scientific careers.
Katherine Johnson is one of the black NASA scientists portrayed in the film “Hidden Figures,” which had been nominated for three Oscars. Johnson was also a mathematician who calculated and verified trajectories for the Apollo and Mercury programs, including the Apollo 11 flight that was the first manned moon landing.
Mae Jemison is an astronaut and physician. In 1992, she became the first African-American woman to go into space.
Margaret Hamilton is a computer scientist. During the 1960s, she worked at MIT while under contract with NASA to develop the onboard flight software used in the Apollo program. She also popularized the concept of software.
According to NASA, the “Women of NASA” collection will come out either later this year or early in 2018.