Lego unveils 'Women of NASA' set with astronauts, scientists

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Back in March, we reported that Lego would make a "Women of NASA" set, which was submitted to the Lego Ideas competition by MIT deputy news editor Maia Weinstock.

On Tuesday Lego announced the debut of a set unlike any others before it, Women of NASA, highlighting astronomer and educator Nancy Grace Roman; computer scientist and entrepreneur Margaret Hamilton; astronaut, physicist and entrepreneur Sally Ride; and astronaut, physician, and engineer Mae Jemison-each as a mini-figurine.

The set was developed by Maia Weinstock, and was created to celebrate successful women in STEM fields.

Computer scientist Margaret Hamilton helped develop computer software for the Apollo and Mercury missions. The astronauts - Jemison, who went into space in 1992, and Ride in 1983 - will each come with space shuttles with removable rocket boosters and orange fuel tanks modeled after the real thing. Women of NASA goes on sale November 1 for $24.99.

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Lego said it looked into including Johnson, who helped work out the trajectories for key NASA spaceflights such as John Glenn's history-making orbital trip in 1962, but couldn't get the necessary permission.

The final design of the Minifigures and set was done by LEGO designers Tara Wike and Gemma Anderson.

As a part of LEGO Ideas, this set was first proposed to the public earlier this year by Weinstock. Today, LEGO is developing more gender-neutral sets and finding new ways to encourage girls to become a STEM superstar. However, Lego said Johnson chose not to participate.

However, the lack of transparency surrounding the reason behind why she was nixed from this set in the first place gives the disheartening impression that whoever had the power to give approval didn't think Johnson's contributions were worthy of recognition, thus keeping her efforts and work "hidden".

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