Lego is empowering young women to become scientists

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  • And it's out of this world...

    From the editors of Fortune

    Lego will release a ‘Women of NASA’ set in time for the Christmas season, the company announced on Wednesday. The set depicts four female scientists who have contributed to the advancement of space exploration.

    The figures include two astronauts, Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, an astronomer, Nancy Roman, and a computer scientist, Margaret Hamilton. The 231-piece set will also include models of the Hubble Space Telescope and a space shuttle.

    The new set was proposed by a fan and received wide support, gaining 10,000 votes on Lego’s ideas website. Lego confirmed the production of the set in February.

    Hidden Figures, a movie about three African-American scientists working at NASA during the Space Race who received little acclaim for their work at the time, was last year nominated for a best picture Oscar. However, none of the scientists from that film are included in Lego’s new set.

    The original proposition included a depiction of Katharine Johnson, one of the subjects of the Hidden Figures. But a Lego spokesperson said the company could not obtain Johnson’s approval to be turned into Lego figure.

    Below, see the figures included in Lego’s new Women of NASA set.

    Nancy Roman

    NASA women lego

    Nancy Roman was NASA’s first chief of astronomy. She played a key role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope, and is known affectionately as ‘the Mother of Hubble.’

    Mae Jemison and Sally Ride

    NASA women lego

    Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, and served on the committees investigating the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters. She died in 2012.

    Mae Jemison, an astronaut and engineer, was the first African-American woman in space. She’s now involved with 100 Year Starship, an organisation aiming to achieve interstellar travel in the next century.

    Margaret Hamilton

    NASA women lego

    Margaret Hamilton helped to develop the software in the Apollo spacecraft that took American astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and 70s.

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