In 2017, there’s one group of people who are finally getting the long-awaited recognition they deserve: female NASA pioneers.
Lego announced earlier this week that they’ll be adding five female NASA trailblazers to a “Women of NASA” Lego collection. On the heels of the recent film Hidden Figures, which features NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson’s story, this Lego announcement is a win for women of the STEM community, which has historically been male-dominated. Johnson, of course, is among the women included in the set.
The idea proposal came from science writer Maia Weinstock. “Women have played critical roles throughout history of the U.S. space program,” she wrote in the proposal for the Lego Ideas competition, which had to be backed by 10,000 supporters to be eligible. “Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated--especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
The five women who will be immortalized in plastic include:
Margaret Hamilton, the computer scientist who developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon.
Katherine Johnson, the mathematician and space scientist best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs.
Sally Ride, an astronaut, physicist and educator who became the first American woman in space in 1983.
Nancy Grace Roman, the astronomer known as “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope.
Mae Jemison, the astronaut, physician and entrepreneur who became the first African-American woman in space in 1992.
“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,” Weinstock said.
The set will also come with a famous photo of the coding that successfully landed astronauts on the moon, instruments used to calculate and verify trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions, a tiny Hubble Space Telescope and a mini space shuttle.
Photos via @LegoNASAwomen
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Elissa Sanci is a twenty-something writer who's now a grad student studying journalism in New York because she was reluctant to start the real world. Besides drinking too much coffee and daydreaming about traveling the world, she spends most her time writing, reading and complaining about the weather. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @elissasanci.