Barbie doll styled after ESA astronaut on sale for World Space Week
The first Italian woman to launch into space is no longer a one-of-a-kind Barbie.
Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA), made her debut as part of the fashion doll line three years ago, but only as a couple of one-off models for display. Now, Cristoforetti's Signature Role Model Barbie doll is for sale and is raising funds for a scholarship in celebration of "Women in Space," the theme of this year's World Space Week that began on Monday (Oct. 4).
"With STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] careers still underrepresented by women, Barbie is using its platform this World Space Week to show girls [in] exciting and diverse roles and activity in space for them to explore their limitless potential," Isabel Ferrer, Mattel's marketing director for the Barbie line in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said in a statement.
The new Cristoforetti Barbie comes dressed in a simplified version of the NASA extravehicular mobility unit, or spacesuit, that is used to perform spacewalks outside of the International Space Station. The white garment is adorned with the Italian flag on the doll's left shoulder, NASA's extravehicular activity (EVA) patch on the right shoulder and ESA's logo patch on its chest. The spacesuit also has red stripes, used to denote the lead spacewalker.
Related: Pioneering women in space: a gallery of astronaut firsts