Astronomy enthusiasts are celebrating World Space Week from October 4 to 10. To make this event a memorable one for young girls and encourage them to pursue careers in space research and STEM, the European Space Agency (ESA) has modeled a special Barbie doll. Following European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti – to prepare it for the environment before going into space in zero-gravity at a base in Germany. Gudiya was wearing a white spacewalking suit. This doll debuted in 2018 on International Girl Child Day on October 11th. Another such doll that debuted, wore a blue flight suit with an ESA patch.
The doll in a white spacewalking suit was put into a zero-gravity flight on October 4 to mark the 60th anniversary of Barbie. The initiative aims to inspire young girls to pursue careers in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. It is supported by educational resources that outline career options in the space industry and also provides study materials for primary school children.
Proceeds from the sale of these two dolls in toy stores in the UK and Europe will go towards the non-profit organization Women in Aerospace (WIA) to help students in their higher studies, a report said.
Samantha Cristoforetti is set to become the first European female astronaut to command the International Space Station next year. Popularly known as “Astrosamantha” or “AstroSam” in her home country of Italy, she hopes that the images of dolls flying in zero-gravity will “instill passion in the hearts of some girls” and inspire the next generation.
In a recent interview to Sky News, Isabel Ferrer, Barbie’s marketing director for Europe and emerging markets, said the brand is using its platform to encourage young girls to explore their “limitless potential” in the space industry. which is still underrepresented by women.
World Space Week was declared as an annual celebration by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999. This year, more than 90 countries are organizing events to mark the event with the theme “Women in Space”.
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