Education and Skills

Lego is selling a 'Women of NASA' set featuring 4 female scientists, engineers, and astronauts

Lego bricks are pictured in a production line at the factory of Danish toy company Lego in Billund, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

This set will feature women who went to space, worked on the Apollo missions and the Hubble telescope Image: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Dave Mosher
Science and Technology Correspondent, Business Insider
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Lego announced on Wednesday that it would release a "Women of NASA" set.

The $25 kit goes on sale November 1 — just in time for the holiday gift-giving season — and builds on a laudable trend of selling toys that are more inclusive of women.

"Women of NASA" features four mini figurines of pioneering women from the space agency: the astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, the astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, and the computer scientist Margaret Hamilton.

Each figurine will also come with a backdrop related to their work at NASA, including the space shuttle Challenger and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Maia Weinstock, a deputy editor at MIT News, submitted her idea for the kit in July 2016 to Lego's Ideas community, where members create and vote on new set plans. If Lego picks an idea from the site, submitters get a 1% cut of sales and licensing revenue.

Have you read?

Weinstock's submission got more than 10,000 votes, triggering an automatic review by Lego staff, which decided to manufacture and sell it. (Lego's giant Saturn V moon rocket set, released in June, came about the same way.)

Here's a close-up look at the kit and what it includes — and one very important piece it's missing.

The four figurines are molded in the likenesses of the woman they represent.

Image: BI

From left: Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison.

Each set will come with 231 pieces and some brand-new parts.

Image: BI

The astronaut, physicist, and entrepreneur Sally Ride will come in a 1980s training flight suit.

Image: BI

Mae Jemison, an astronaut, physician, and engineer, wears a 1990s space shuttle flight suit.

Image: BI

Both astronauts will have a mini space shuttle to stand by.

Image: BI

The space shuttle even separates into its three stages: the solid rocket boosters (left), the main fuel tank (orange), and the orbiter (right).

Image: BI

The astronomer and teacher Nancy Grace Roman, 92, is modeled as her 1959 likeness.

Image: BI

Roman is often called the "Mother of Hubble" for helping get the space-telescope mission off the ground.

Image: BI

Finally, the set will include a 1960s Margaret Hamilton, who's a computer scientist and entrepreneur.

Image: BI

Hamilton, who is now 81, led the development of flight software for the Apollo moon missions.

Image: BI

After Lego produced its first kits, Hamilton got a first look at herself as a plastic figurine.

Image: BI

Hamilton also met Weinstock and the Lego designer who helped usher the kit to production.

Image: BI

From left: Hamilton, Tara Wike (the Lego designer), and Maia Weinstock.

As Gizmodo reported on Wednesday, however, one figurine is missing from Weinstock's kit: Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA whose remarkable story of working on the Mercury and Apollo programs was the focus of the film "Hidden Figures."20th Century Fox

A Lego representative told Gizmodo: "In order for us to move forward with a partner we need to obtain approval from all key people, which was not possible in this case. We naturally fully respect this decision."

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