Technology

American Girl, NASA Come Together To Create An Aspiring Astronaut Doll

Aspiring Astronaut doll Luciana Vega is the top American Girl of 2018. American Girl is known for its series of dolls that define one or other character in life, and inspire young girls to find their place in the world.

Astronaut doll
Image Source: Good Morning America/YouTube (screenshot)

Top American Girl of 2018

The Astronaut doll was revealed on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Luciana Vega, an 18-inch-high doll was launched at the event attended by a group of girls adorned in Space Camp Uniforms, notes GeekWire.

American Girl stated that Luciana, an “11-year-old” doll, is an “aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars.”

In a statement, Katy Dickson, president of American Girl said, “We’re proud to introduce fans to American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega—a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality.”

Dickson further stated that Luciana is a role model for girls who aspire to break the stereotypes and take the risk to live life as it comes. Further, the executive stated that for their company it’s all about building girls of strong character and keep encouraging the girls to “lead change and embrace #charactercounts.”

Meanwhile, users on Instagram are stating that the story and journey of Luciana is relatable. One user said that her 8-year-old daughter, whose name is also Luciana, is super excited to get the doll.

Not an ordinary Astronaut doll

The accessories with the Astronaut doll include the flight suit, spacesuit, “Maker Station” and a Mars habitat. Further, the fans will be able to connect with the doll through a smartphone app and a series of books published by Scholastic.

In the first two books, readers would get to know about Luciana, a young girl of Chilean descent, who has a knack for science and is fond of exploring new territories in space. Luciana steps closer to her goal of landing on Mars by winning a scholarship to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Throughout the journey, from a little girl with big dreams to a youth astronaut trainee, Luciana comes across various challenges that test her competitive spirit and self-confidence.

American Girl worked with NASA astronaut Dr. Megan McArthur Behnken; Dr. Ellen Stofan, former NASA chief scientist; CEO of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Dr. Deborah Barnhart; and Maureen O’Brien, the manager of strategic alliances at NASA, to develop the background story and product.

American Girl has also collaborated with Scholastic, NASA and Space Camp to move forward the educational program called “Blast off to Discovery.” The program aims at encouraging third through fifth-grade students to know more about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Both American Girl and Scholastic will also sponsor the “Mission to Mars Sweepstakes.”

“Luciana is our first character that’s really immersed in STEM,” said Rebecca Dekuiper, a designer at American Girl, in a video about the making of Luciana. “We’ve had STEM products before, but we really wanted to do a whole character to show girls that STEM is cool.”