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Meet Mars Explorer Barbie

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After one year on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover has a great many scientific accomplishments to its credit. NASA hosted several online celebrations earlier this week to commemorate the occasion, and now they have teamed with toy maker Mattel to launch “Mars Explorer Barbie” in honor of Curiosity’s one-year anniversary.

This version of Barbie is kitted out with a space suit, helmet, and pack, and is accompanied by a cardboard cutout of the Curiosity rover, which, like Barbie’s space suit, is bedecked with pink accents.

Mars Explorer Barbie was released on August 5 as part of Mattel’s ongoing “I Can Be” line of dolls and has been named Barbie’s “Career of the Year” for 2013. “Adding to her resume of more than 130 careers, Mars Explorer Barbie doll inspires girls to be adventurous and to always reach for the stars!” Mattel said in a statement.

The packaging art for Mars Explorer Barbie includes facts about the history of female U.S. astronauts and encourages customers to go to NASA’s Women@NASA website, which includes profiles of women currently working at NASA; advice for careers in science, engineering, and mathematics; and opportunities for students.



Mars Explorer Barbie is the latest in a long line of space-themed dolls by Mattel, though it is the first created with NASA input. The first Barbie destined for space adventures was “Barbie Miss Astronaut”, which was released in 1965, two years after Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to journey into space, and 18 years before Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. “Barbie Miss Astronaut” wore a silver spacesuit based upon the pressure suits worn by the American Mercury astronauts.

Later space-themed Barbie dolls included a Special Edition Astronaut Barbie released in 1994 to honor the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11, the mission that led to the first moon landing, and Space Camp Barbie in 1998.

Mattel has also released a Hot Wheels model of the Curiosity rover in September 2012, one month after the rover touched down on Mars. Mattel also collaborated with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to produce five Action Packs in 1997 and 1999, which included Mars rovers, Apollo spacecraft, probes, and a space shuttle.



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