Lego's Women of NASA set comes out Nov. 1 – but without this 'Hidden Figures' icon

Lego explains why one of the heroes of 'Hidden Figures' isn't in the final product.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Lego's Women of NASA set will be out in the wild, ready to be scooped up by kids (and presumably plenty of adults) with big dreams at the start of November.

The 231-piece collection releases Nov. 1, Lego announced, and features four pioneering women that helped make NASA the scientific force it is today.

Computer scientist Margaret Hamilton – who helped develop on-board flight software for the Apollo missions – appears with a stack of books that represent the software source code.

Sally Ride (the first American woman in space) and Mae Jemison (the first African-American woman in space) appear together at a launchpad with the Space Shuttle Challenger.

And astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, known as the "Mother of Hubble" for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope, comes with (naturally) a Hubble Space Telescope, including "authentic details and a projected image of a planetary nebula."

The set idea was submitted to the Lego Ideas initiative by MIT News Deputy Editor Maia Weinstock in the summer of 2016. 

She said it was "meant to honor all women who've contributed in some way to the agency's mission of advancing society through space exploration."

Early this year, Lego announced Women of NASA would go from inspiring idea to an actual, buyable set. And that becomes a reality on Nov. 1, when Women of NASA becomes available to purchase. 

Lego is not doing preorders for it.

There's someone missing from the original plans

Weinstock's initial concept included a fifth woman: Katherine Johnson

Johnson was a longtime NASA researcher who calculated and verified trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs, including Apollo 11 – the first mission to land humans on the moon. She was played by Taraji P. Henson in the film Hidden Figures

And here she is portrayed in Weinstock's proposal:

Johnson is not, however, in this final Lego set. So what happened?

Lego said in its announcement that she "chose not to be part of the set."

In a slightly longer explanation on Twitter, the company explained it needed approval from "key people" in the partnership, and couldn't get it for Johnson.

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.

PennyMomentos

How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.

Drywall

Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.

ambulance

4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.

20201107_vivir-1151-Edit

Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.

MasklessJudgesinWiscoyTownship

At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said

Related

5 pioneering women of NASA will become a Lego set

It started as a submitted fan idea – and now the Women of NASA set will be a reality.

Watch: Creepy baby doll in MN tunnel scares the crap out of 2 people

It's late at night and you come across a one-eyed baby doll and teddy bear – yeah, kind of scary.

Watch: Creepy baby doll in MN tunnel scares the crap out of 2 people

It's late at night and you come across a one-eyed baby doll and teddy bear – yeah, kind of scary.

What you do when you work with animals – and a hurricane is coming

Staff at a Florida animal park worked overtime to make sure everyone is safe.

Check out this artist's fantasy-style map of Minnesota

From City of the People to The Lake with Crossing Waters – Minnesota reimagined as a fantasy map.

Check out this artist's fantasy-style map of Minnesota

From City of the People to The Lake with Crossing Waters – Minnesota reimagined as a fantasy map.