The European Space Agency has partnered with Mattel to send a Barbie version of astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on a zero-G flight to inspire girls to become astronauts, engineers, and scientists.
This partnership is a part of World Space Week 2021, and its theme of celebrating Women in Space. Samantha Cristoforetti is an astronaut with the ESA who has spent nearly 200 days in space. The ESA and Mattel previously partnered to create two Barbie versions of the astronaut, but these were never available for public sale.
This new Barbie is now available for sale on Amazon. Mattel and the ESA hope that by representing a female astronaut with a Barbie, they will encourage young girls to embrace STEM. Careers in STEM are high-paying and can be very fulfilling careers, but women are often underrepresented.
In addition to the Barbie itself, the partnership has shared information tools, such as a document of tips for parents to encourage their daughters to expand their horizons, and a booklet for kids to learn about the zero-G flight. The booklet for kids discusses what food is like in space, the importance of exercise, and the force of gravity.