Doll, Barbie, Miss Astronaut


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Doll, Barbie, Miss Astronaut

Collection Item Summary:

This Barbie doll is dressed in the Miss Astronaut silver spacesuit created by Mattel in 1965.

Invented by Mattel Toys co-founder Ruth Handler in 1958, Barbie dolls were conceived as a toy that would allow children to play with a doll of an adult woman, not a baby or child/companion. As such, Barbie dolls allowed their owners to act out the life of a "single career girl." In the history of this immensely-popular and iconic toy, the Barbie doll has taken on several aviation- and space-themed jobs, including several versions of Barbie as a stewardess, astronaut, and pilot. Ironically, Barbie's role as "Miss Astronaut" with her Project Mercury-style silver spacesuit, came years before women became a part of NASA's astronaut corps in 1978.

Although three different Barbie dolls have been issued dressed in space-themed outfits, none of them offer realistic depictions of women’s participation in human spaceflight.

This doll and costume was donated to the Museum by Mattel in 1995.

Collection Item Long Description:


ca. 1964

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Gift of Mattel, Inc., El Segundo, CA


Country of Origin



Plastic, synthetic hair, polyester, vinyl, paper, brass


3-D: 7 x 3.8 x 29.2cm (2 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


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