One Giant Leap for Dollkind: Barbie Explores New Frontier in First Trip to Space
US toymaker Mattel has collaborated with the ISS National Lab to send Barbie dolls into space for the first time.
In collaboration with the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab on Mission DreamStar, Mattel sent two Barbie dolls up to space to encourage girls to consider a career in aerospace, engineering and STEM.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth.
Mattel says the purpose of Barbie is to remind girls they can be anything, and by showing them nearly 40 different careers in STEM—including astrophysicist, space scientist and robotics engineer—the brand continues to help close the “Dream Gap” and level the playing field for girls.
The company says research shows that starting at age five, many girls begin to develop self-limiting beliefs and think they’re not as smart and capable as boys. This issue is called “the dream gap,” and to help close it, Barbie launched the Dream Gap Project in 2018—an ongoing global initiative that gives girls the resources and support they need to continue believing in themselves.
“Barbie introduced an astronaut doll in 1965 before humans had even stepped foot on the moon,” said Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel.
“Now, almost 60 years later and with 200 careers and counting, Barbie dolls have made it to space. It is important that we encourage girls to reach for the stars—literally —and pursue careers in aerospace and STEM. With help from the International Space Station National Lab team, we are reminding girls that not even gravity can hold them back.”
After launching into orbit, two Barbie dolls received an out-of-this-world tour of the ISS which included the Cupola, ISS’ observation module, Veggie Garden, and Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer (Melfi), along with an introduction to the ISS’ free-flying robots, the Astrobees.
After the Barbie dolls return from space this summer, the two dolls will be donated to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and go on display later this year at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia to further engage young females on the excitement of space.
As part of Barbie doll’s first trip to space, the Barbie brand will be releasing a special edition episode of the brand’s You Can Be Anything series, which showcases inspiring digital content featuring conversations with female role models to remind girls that they can be the leaders of tomorrow.
The episode, titled You Can Be Anything: Mission DreamStar – Let’s Go To SPACE!, launches today on YouTube and will highlight careers in space, providing young girls with virtual access to the ISS and help inspire a life of space exploration.
The Barbie brand’s long history of celebrating space also includes the creation of dolls made in the likeness of real-life astronauts such as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
The Barbie space exploration line will be available at Target locations nationwide and featured on the exclusive Barbie page on Target.com, along with the You Can Be Anything: Mission DreamStar – Let’s Go To SPACE! episode and more information on Barbie brand’s initiatives and activities for girls.
The Barbie Space Discovery line, available exclusively at Target, includes a Barbie astronaut doll, Space Teacher Playset, Space Room Playset, and more.