Back in February, Lego revealed it would be turning Maia Weinstock’s Women of NASA Lego Ideas submission into an official set, and this morning we have our first look at the production versions of the tiny dioramas and minifigures that will be available starting on November 1 for $25. You may notice one rather major heroine is missing.
The notable women in the set include Margaret Hamilton, a computer scientist who developed the flight software that powered the Apollo moon missions, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space who rode the space shuttle in 1983, Nancy G. Roman, an astronomer whose planning helped make the Hubble Space Telescope a reality, and Mae Jemison, who in 1992 became the first African-American woman in space.
Maia Weinstock’s original Lego Ideas submission also included Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician who calculated trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs, and who was recently featured in the film, Hidden Figures. But Johnson unfortunately isn’t included in Lego’s final version of this set. A company 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.”
In addition to the minifigures, the 231-piece set also lets kids and collectors build three NASA-themed dioramas which include a miniature version of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Space Shuttle, complete with removable booster tanks.
As much as we love seeing Lego produce gigantic versions of spaceships like the Millennium Falcon, we’re equally excited for sets like these. There are notable women in all fields of science, and as the push for more STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) toys continues to grow, there’s even more of a reason to celebrate heroes outside of science fiction.
The headline of this post has been updated to more accurately reflect the story. It originally stated Lego was “forced” to exclude Katherine Johnson, the African American NASA mathematician whose struggles were documented in the film Hidden Figures. Lego could not get approval to use her for an unknown reason, and the company chose to move forward without her.