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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.
This doll and costume was donated to the Museum by Mattel in 1995.
This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Country of Origin
3-D: 7 x 3.8 x 29.2cm (2 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.) Materials
Plastic, synthetic hair, polyester, vinyl, paper, brass Inventory Number
Gift of Mattel, Inc., El Segundo, CA
National Air and Space Museum
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