From Batman to Iron Man, Thor to The Hulk, LEGO has seen its fair share of superheroes. But now, rather than pulling likenesses straight from the pages of our favorite comic books, the toy company is pulling inspiration from real-life heroes, and surprisingly not a single one is male. LEGO has officially announced the production of a “Women of NASA” set of figurines, immortalizing five of NASA’s most famous women.
“Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program, a.k.a. NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” science writer Maia Weinstock, the set’s creator, wrote in her proposal. “Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated — especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).”
The “Women of NASA” set is due for release in late 2017 or early 2018 will feature five female pioneers of space. Margaret Hamilton – computer scientist who developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions. Katherine Johnson – mathematician and space scientist responsible for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs. Sally Ride – astronaut, physicist, and educator who in 1983 became the first American woman in space. Nancy Grace Roman – astronomer and one of the first female executives at NASA, she is known as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in the development of the Hubble Space Telescope. Mae Jemison – astronaut, physician, and entrepreneur who in 1999 became the first African-American woman in space.
“I hope it sets a new example for both girls and boys,” Weinstock told BBC. “Girls, in that they can and should be engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, and boys, in that they internalize at an early age that these careers are for everyone, not only men.”
Since its proposal, the “Women of NASA” LEGO set has gained an outpouring of support, garnering the necessary 10,000 signatures for its approval and an abundance of comments praising the idea.