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Barbie Just Completed Her First Zero-G Flight and “She Feels Fine”

Whatever incredible things we’ve accomplished this week, small or big victories recorded, or private goals we attained, Barbie’s probably got us all beat. She may be a doll, old but still as youthful, resourceful, and fashionable as always, but she just completed her very first zero-g flight.
Samantha Cristoforetti Barbie goes on zero-g flight to inspire girls to pursue a career as astronauts 13 photos
Samantha Cristoforetti Barbie goes on zero-g flight to inspire girls to pursue a career as astronautsSamantha Cristoforetti Barbie goes on zero-g flight to inspire girls to pursue a career as astronautsSamantha Cristoforetti Barbie goes on zero-g flight to inspire girls to pursue a career as astronautsSamantha Cristoforetti Barbie goes on zero-g flight to inspire girls to pursue a career as astronautsCentre swageCrew-2_in_gearESA_astronaut_class_of_2009Life Sciences GloveboxLuca Parmitano in Sokol suit trainingOrion_and_European_Service_Module_over_the_MoonOver_the_MoonThe_Gateway_concept
She “feels fine,” just in case you were worried. To mark World Space Week, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Mattel have joined forces to send a Barbie on her first zero-gravity flight at an ESA center in Germany, the agency informs. The event was not a useless exercise or waste of resources, but a means to encourage girls to pursue a career in STEM (space and science, technology, mathematics, and engineering), and to provide parents and educators with the proper support for them.

The Barbie in question is the Samantha Cristoforetti Barbie, which was initially launched as a one-off but will now be made available as a series doll throughout Europe. Cristoforetti herself videoed in for the event, Reuters informs, expressing her hope that the campaign will further motivate little girls to pursue a career in space exploration. The same media outlet notes that, now that Barbie has completed a pre-flight training with the zero-g flight, she will be joining Cristoforetti on the International Space Station (ISS) in April.

Part of the ongoing partnership, ESA and Mattel have compiled resources for educators and parents, highlighting different space careers and offering interesting facts about space for primary school kids. The Women in Aerospace Europe organization has set up a bursary for the next generation of female astronauts, and an unspecified percentage of the sales of the new Cristoforetti Barbie will go directly there.

This might be Barbie’s first brush with zero-gravity, but it’s not the first time she gets into space exploration. The first Barbie astronaut doll “walked on the moon” back in 1965, and other Barbies have been space scientists, astronauts or astrophysicists. Sally Ride from NASA and Anna Kikina from Roscomos also have Barbies in their own likeness.

Not too shabby for a 62-year-old piece of plastic, not at all.

 
 
 
 
 

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