The proposal bubbled up through a Lego program that solicits ideas for customized toy figures, and then turns some of the top ideas into actual play sets. Hamilton, the computer scientist responsible for developing software for space missions, comes with her own science lab and books reminiscent of the Apollo Guidance Computer.
Nancy Grace Roman, 92, an astronomer and NASA executive who is known as the "Mother of Hubble" for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. "It was attractive to hear some of the stories behind the scenes, like how Sally's name tag was changed from "Sally Ride" to just "Sally" at her own request". Today, LEGO is unveiling 21312 Women of NASA, available November 1.
"Build the posable Hubble Space Telescope and launch a LEGO version of the Space Shuttle Challenger with 3 removable rocket stages".
The company quickly took steps to add more women in science to its set lineup.
A Lego set honoring the "Women of NASA" is ready for takeoff.
Weinstock's initial idea for the set also included Katherine Johnson, the space scientist instrumental in bringing the first Americans to orbit, but the company wasn't able to include her in the final set. "We have also seen that when girls and women are given more encouragement in the STEM fields, they become more likely to pursue careers in these areas". Once approved, LEGO designers Tara Wike and Gemma Anderson set to work creating final iterations.
Weinstock said on Twitter that it "would have been fantastic" to include Johnson's vignette, but her overall vision is "very much alive".
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".