Paying tribute to the women of the US space programme, the Lego toy company has announced a series of figures of female Nasa scientists, engineers and astronauts. The five models will be based on women who made iconic contributions to the space agency, including physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson, the inspiration behind the film Hidden Figures.

Other women being immortalised in Lego include computer scientist Margaret Hamilton; astronaut, physicist and educator Sally Ride; astronomer Nancy Grace Roman; and astronaut and physician Mae Jemison.

American science writer Maia Weinstock submitted her idea for the Nasa women set as part of the Lego Ideas competition through which people can propose designs for future products.

"As a science editor and writer, with a strong personal interest for space exploration as well as the history of women in science and engineering, Maia Weinstock's Women of Nasa project was a way for her to celebrate accomplished women in the Stem professions," Lego Ideas spokeswoman Lise Dydensborg said in a video announcing the winning idea.

"In particular those who've made a big impact through their work at Nasa."

Nasa shared the news on its Hubble account on Twitter and said that the set would go on sale by late 2017 or early 2018.

In addition to a desktop frame that displays these five mini figures and their names, the set will include vignettes depicting a famous photo of the reams of code that landed astronauts on the moon in 1969; instruments used to calculate and verify trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions; a microscale Hubble Space Telescope and display; and a mini space shuttle, complete with external tank and solid rocket boosters.

Nasa Lego
The Women of Nasa Lego set will include a mini space shuttle, complete with external tank and solid rocket boosters Lego