NASA, American Girl Create Aspiring Astronaut Doll

named its own 2018 woman of the year — and also a brand new chapter book series written by Erin Teagan and published by Scholastic that chronicles Luciana’s trip to space camp and outside. NASA also supplied imagery and content for a accompanying American Girl app and website that delivers distance simulations, instructional quizzes, challenges, and much more.

“it’s so important to find exciting new ways to inspire our next generation of space explorers,” NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, who works on the project’s advisory board, said in a announcement. “I always wish to encourage girls and boys to pursue their dreams, no matter how big, and I think it can help to show how those dreams can become reality for virtually any kid.”

The project’s advisory board contained former NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Deborah Barnhart, also NASA’s Manager of Strategic Alliances Maureen O’Brien.

NASA views the cooperation as a way to educate and get children excited about STEM throughout Luciana’s story.

“Luciana’s experiences may be familiar for lots of the Women@NASA, including astronauts such as Megan, who have overcome obstacles to pursue their dreams,” the bureau said in a statement. NASA added that it “will require gifted engineers, scientists, and astronauts from the future” because it prepares to come back to the skies and send people to Mars.

“NASA has a varied mission that needs talent from every corner of America, and each walk of life,” the agency wrote.

American Girl’s 18-inch Luciana doll will go on sale Jan. 1. The first two Luciana novels are available now.

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