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Lego releases 'Women of NASA' set

Weinstock's proposed playset includes mini figurines of five remarkable NASA women, including Margaret Hamilton, the software engineer who programmed the guidance and navigation systems for the Apollo missions; mathematician and inspiration for the movie Hidden Figures Katherine Johnson; Nancy Grace Roman, the "Mother of the Hubble Telescope;" as well as Sally Ride, the first American woman in space and Mae Jemison, the first African-American female in space.

A day before Women's History Month kicked off, Lego revealed a new set called "Women of NASA", which highlights the contributions of five women who have played critical roles throughout the history of the US space program.

The art for the sets was created by Weinstock, who pitched the idea to LEGO, and it's still unofficial, though the actual sets that will be sold will be modeled after Weinstock's ideas. She hailed it not so much as a giant step for womankind but as a move in the right direction.

When a Drag Race-inspired proposal hit Lego Ideas earlier this year, Twitter lost its mind over the possibility of a tiny, checkered flag-wielding RuPaul.

Lego Ideas spokeswoman Lise Dydensborg announced the result in a video message, accompanied by a drum roll.

Which is exactly why Maia Weinstock's winning submission featuring Women of NASA is such an honor and an achievement.

"Maia Weinstock's Women of NASA project was a way for her to celebrate accomplished women in the STEM professions".

In response, Lego released a limited edition "Research Institute" set designed by geophysicist Ellen Kooijman that featured three female scientists - a paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist.

"I hope it sets a new example for both girls and boys", said Ms Weinstock.

Maia Weinstock's NASA women set received more than 10,000 votes, so Lego's going ahead and making it.

The stars of Hidden Figures brought NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson on stage with them, where she was greeted with a standing ovation.

Lego has been criticized in the past for a lack of professional female characters, most famously in a letter from a 7-year-old fan in 2014.

Also included are Margaret Hamilton and Katherine Johnson, whose work helped put the first people on the moon.

With women in STEM getting a big boost from films like Hidden Figures, it's awesome that LEGO has recognized the important contributions that women have made for space science.



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