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Women of NASA Lego set
Maia Weinstock’s proposed “Women of NASA” set of Lego minifigures includes, from left, Margaret Hamilton, Katherine Johnson, Sally Ride, Nancy Grace Roman and Mae Jemison. These figures are fan-generated renditions. The official design is yet to be determined. (Maia Weinstock Photo via Twitter)

It’s all systems go for a new set of Lego minifigures celebrating women researchers at NASA, including the central figure in the acclaimed movie “Hidden Figures.”

NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who worked out trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs, is among the five women portrayed in the set. At the age of 98, Johnson has gotten a renewed burst of Hollywood fame (including an appearance at this week’s Oscars) thanks to her part in the real-life story behind “Hidden Figures.”

The four other women getting the Lego treatment are:

  • Margaret Hamilton, now 80, who developed the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions while working at MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s.
  • Mae Jemison, 60, who became the first African-American woman in space in 1992 during a science mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavour.
  • Sally Ride (1951-2012), who was the first American woman in space thanks to a 1983 mission on the space shuttle Challenger, and went on to create educational programs focused on getting girls into science.
  • Nancy Grace Roman, 91, an astronomer and NASA executive who is known as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope.

Science writer Maia Weinstock proposed the “Women of NASA” set through a Lego program that solicits ideas for customized toy figures. Twelve ideas received the required 10,000 votes for consideration. Today, Lego gave the go-ahead for Weinstock’s idea.

“We’re still working out the final product design, pricing and availability for the Women of NASA set, so check back on Lego Ideas in late 2017 or early 2018 for more details,” Lego’s Hasan Jensen wrote.

Lego said it was still considering another one of the 12 ideas, highlighting “Voltron – Defender of the Universe.” Among those that were passed over: a Lego version of the Large Hadron Collider, a Star Wars Landspeeder and a set celebrating computer science pioneers Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage.

An earlier set of Lego women scientists became a collector’s item after its retirement, and it’s likely that the upcoming set will be similarly sought after.

Weinstock’s proposal leaves the door open for combining the minifigs with settings ranging from NASA Mission Control to the space shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope. Check out these unofficial, totally fan-powered scenes:

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