A new “Women of NASA” Lego set will be available starting November 1, and astronaut Sally Ride will be included in the set, making her the first lesbian immortalized as one of the iconic brand’s Minifigures.
— Lego NASA Women (@LegoNASAWomen) October 18, 2017
The Women of NASA set was dreamed up by science writer Maia Weinstock, and garnered more than 10,000 votes on the Lego Ideas site, earning it automatic consideration by the company. Along with Ride, it includes tiny representations of NASA astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, and astronaut Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space. (An earlier version of the set also included Katherine Johnson, the black NASA mathematician featured in the 2016 film Hidden Figures, but Lego was unable able to obtain the necessary approvals to turn her into a figurine.)
Also included in the set is a 4-inch-tall model of the Challenger space shuttle Ride rode when she became the first woman in space. Hamilton, who led the team that developed software for the Apollo moon mission, can be placed in a diorama with a stack of books containing the Apollo Guidance Computer code. (Roman, NASA’s first chief of astronomy, comes with a small model of the Hubble Space Telescope and a picture of a planetary nebula.)
Ride, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2012, remained closeted throughout her life but gave her partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, permission to disclose their relationship after her death.
O’Shaughnessy accepted a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom on Ride’s behalf in 2013.
She joins a growing list of LGBT figures immortalized in Lego form, including Freddie Mercury, Iggy Pop, and Andy Warhol.