New ‘American Girl’ doll an aspiring astronaut

Science, smarts and outerspace — that’s what the newest American Girl doll is bringing to girls around the world.

According to Good Housekeeping, American Girl has just unveiled its newest doll for 2018: 11-year-old Luciana Vega, a girl who dreams of being the first person to travel to Mars.

To craft the doll, GH says the company teamed up with NASA employees such as NASA Astronaut Dr. Megan McArthur Behnken, former NASA chief scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan, CEO of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Dr. Deborah Barnhart and the manager of strategic alliances at NASA Maureen O’Brien to accurately design “STEM-inspired outfits and accessories, including a flight and space suit fully equipped for intergalactic travel.”

Not only does the doll come ready for any space missions that may arise, GH reports that Luciana will also receive her own three-book series courtesy of Scholastic, which will detail her experiences as she receives a scholarship to go to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Katy Dickinson, president of American Girl, praised the newest addition to their collection as a “role model for today’s girls,” as she is “empowering them to defy stereotypes, embrace risks and failures, and chart their own course in life — whatever the goal.”

Luciana and all of her accessories became available on Jan. 1. You can shop the new doll here.

Flying into history

NASA’s Peggy Whitson may have just taken off on a mission to the International Space Station, but the astronaut isn’t just flying into outer space — she’s flying into history.

According to Women in the World, she became the oldest woman (at the age of 56) to embark on a mission into space on Thursday, Nov. 17, beating out previous record holder Barbara Morgan, who made the journey in 2007 at the age of 55.

But that’s not the only way Whitson made history. She is also “the first woman to ever assume control of the ISS for a second time — in 2007, when Whitson first took control of the space station, she became the first woman ever to do so,” reports Women in the World.

Witnessing her history -making mission were fellow astronauts Oleg Novitskiy of Russia and Thomas Pesquet of France, who Women in the World says represented the European Space agency.