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March 3, 2017

Not-so-hidden figures: Lego confirms development of ‘Women of NASA’ minifigures

by John_A

“Women of NASA” looks to be the next big hit in the Lego minifigure world. Last year, science writer Maia Weinstock and her 10,000 supporters  first reached the critical 10,000-vote mark on the Lego Ideas website, which allows fans to post and vote on new project ideas. Projects that surpass the 10,000-vote mark are eligible for review by the Danish toy company to determine if they are suitable to become an official set. And now, Lego has announced that the set celebrating the contributions of women to the space agency will indeed be developed.

“A big congratulations to 20tauri on becoming the next official Lego Ideas fan designer!” the company announced, “As a science editor and writer, with a strong personal interest for space exploration as well as the history of women in science and engineering, Maia Weinstock’s Women of NASA project was a way for her to celebrate accomplished women in the STEM professions … We’re really excited to be able to introduce Maia’s Women of NASA set for its inspirational value as well as build and play experience.”

The fan-made set focuses on notable women who worked for the space agency and features computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, mathematician Katherine Johnson (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures), astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, and astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. All five woman played an integral role in NASA’s history by working on such important projects such as the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon and the Hubble Space Telescope. Beside the minifigs, the proposed set also includes several accessories such as a mini model of the Hubble telescope, a space shuttle, a computer with a desk and instruments from the Apollo era.

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Weinstock created the minifig set to honor these women, most of whom “are unknown and under-appreciated.” She hopes this project will make the public aware of their contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Thus far, she is making waves with the proposed set, attracting the attention of NASA, the United Nations and singer Pharrell Williams, who shared the minifig project on Twitter. “Whether or not the project is ultimately produced, I’d love for it to help others become more aware of key scientific and engineering accomplishments made by women,” said Weinstock to Collectspace.

Lego evaluates all proposed projects at three different times each year. The next review period begins in September and takes several months to complete. And despite the approval of the “Women of NASA” set, Lego is still working on the final product design, pricing, and availability, so we’ll have to wait until later this year or even next year to get our hands on these Legos ourselves.

Article originally published in August 2016. Updated on 03-03-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added confirmation from Lego.

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