Lego to honour five pioneering women who worked for NASA

Lego is set to honour several female scientists, engineers and astronauts who worked for the US space agency NASA following a competition to create new designs.

The Danish toymaker will release five figurines of pioneering women who, they hope, will inspire more girls to pursue careers in science.

Those being honoured in the "Women of NASA" set include computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, astronaut Sally Ride and Katherine Johnson.

The designs are the winning entry for the Lego competition. Credit: Maia Weinstock

Mrs Johnson is one of three black female mathematicians whose work on the space programme in the 1960s is captured in the Oscar-nominated film 'Hidden Figures'.

NASA's chief astronomer Nancy Grace Roman - who is seen as "instrumental in making the Hubble Space Telescope a reality" - and the first African-American woman in space, Mae Jemison, also made the cut.

Mrs Johnson attended the Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday, and in a post uploaded to Twitter, fellow scientist Mae Jemison said her appearance was "a joy to see".

Maia Weinstock, a science editor and winner of the Lego competition, said: "There are people whose stories have not really been told who have made seminal contributions to the NASA programmes."

The set also includes various scientific instruments used during the historic Apollo and Mercury missions. Credit: Maia Weinstock

After submitting her design, Weinstock said it took just 15 days to reach 10,000 public votes and the attention of the toymaker.

The new designs will be available by late 2017 or early 2018.

For further information on the Women of NASA, click here.