UPDATE: The “Women of NASA” Lego set is officially a go, with the set’s creator Maia Weinstock announcing the news this week. The set features Hidden Figures inspiration Katherine Johnson, as well as Margaret Hamilton, Nancy Grace Roman, Mae Jemison and Sally Ride.
The history of American space exploration is often centered around the following names: Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Carl Sagan, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom and James Lovell.
But a handful of women also contributed to our understanding of the universe, serving as cosmonauts, analysts, researchers and engineers. Unfortunately, some of them aren’t household names like Aldrin, Armstrong or Sagan. Well, one person hopes to change that.
Maia Weinstock, deputy editor of MIT News and a self-proclaimed “Lego tinkerer,” has proposed a new Lego set that celebrates the women of NASA. The set would feature five figurines representing five important NASA pioneers: Margaret Hamilton, Katherine Johnson, Nancy Grace Roman, Mae Jemison and Sally Ride.
“Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program…yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated — especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM),” Weinstock wrote in her Lego Ideas proposal.
Lego encourages people to suggest new sets for their company through Lego Ideas. Each proposal has to meet a certain criteria in order to be reviewed, approved and ultimately produced, with the biggest part of the process being support. The proposals have to get 10,000 supporters in order to be considered for review. As of today Weinstock’s “Women of NASA” has gotten over 5,000 supporters, with 720 days left to gain the other half.
Such a project is necessary considering what these women did and how they made history. Katherine Johnson was a black mathematician who worked on the Mercury and Apollo programs, with her calculations being “critical” to the success of the Apollo moon landing. Then, there was Mae Jemison, the first black woman to go to space in 1992.
Check out the proposal and sign up to support here.