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.

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