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Barbie Space Discovery Space Station Playset with Space Explorer Doll, Puppy, Workstation, Satellite Space Scenes & 20 Space Station Items:Chair, Test Tubes, Microscope, Puppy Bed, 3 - 7Years Old

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The pair of "Space Discovery" dolls that debuted July 18 at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia were indeed launched into orbit in 2022, and were the first Barbie dolls that Mattel — the toy company behind the iconic fashion figure brand — arranged to fly. But another Barbie made the trip 32 years earlier aboard a still-classified space shuttle mission and today it sits in the home of its original owner. The National Air and Space Museum on Tuesday (July 18) debuted on display the first-ever Barbie dolls to actually fly into space. The two fashion figures spent several months on board the International Space Station (ISS) in 2022 as part of "Mission DreamStar," a joint outreach project by Mattel and the ISS U.S. National Laboratory. The dolls were then donated by the toy company to the Smithsonian.

Barbie® Space Discovery™ dolls and toys inspire kids to let their imaginations blast off into space!

In 1998, Mattel released Space Camp Barbie (not in our collection), whose blue flight suit is much more in line with what actual astronauts were wearing during the 1990s. Based on popular Space Camp programs for children and teenagers, this doll was the first space-themed Barbie that wasn’t an astronaut. Unlike Astronaut Barbie, who represents a far-off future goal that children must wait to achieve until they are older, Space Camp Barbie represents a real and immediately attainable way for children to engage with and study space. 2000s and 2010s

As it happened, the same person who sewed Barbie's custom spacesuit went on to work for the National Archives, where in 1999 she helped arrange for the doll to be temporarily displayed at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Kansas, in conjunction with an exhibit celebrating 40 years of Barbie.Over the past 57 years, Barbie's space wear has varied from fashion-forward to miniature replicas of the real thing. The first astronaut outfit, "Barbie Miss Astronaut" released in 1965, was inspired by the silverly suits worn by the Mercury astronauts. Twenty years later, Barbie modeled a bright pink and silver spacesuit "with sparkly skirt and tights." Another Barbie resembling European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is set to launch to the space station with her real-life counterpart later this month. Programs Learning resources Plan a field trip Educator professional development Education monthly theme

Now, in the same week that Barbie is launching onto the silver screen in a new movie starring Margot Robbie as the title character, the flown dolls are having a premiere of their own. (The timing of the exhibit's debut was not tied to the film's release.) Barbie® teacher doll wears a blue dress with planetary graphics, white shoes and eyeglasses; the student has a dress with space print and pink boots.

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These two space-flown Barbies have been added as a special addition to the toys case that has been on display in the McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center," Margaret Weitekamp, curator of the National Air and Space Museum's social and cultural history of spaceflight collection, said in an interview with collectSPACE. "They join three Barbie dolls in space outfits that have already been on display." Open the set to reveal a workstation and turn the star pattern thumbwheel to switch between different space scenes in the space station window! They don't have the helmets, they just are wearing the suits," said Weitekamp. "My understanding is that the shoes are adhered to their feet and, in fact, their hair has been gelled down with a little bit of glue to keep it from not just being a 'flyaway,' as in having a bad hair day, but literally flying away in the microgravity environment.

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