An aspiring Martian astronaut, 11-year-old Luciana Vega, is American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year. The American Girl organisation worked with NASA, scientists and astronauts to make Luciana’s story as realistic as possible.

The Chilean American girl aspires to be the first person to reach Mars.

The American Girl is known for producing dolls based on historical figures. But Luciana’s story was created using modern girls between ages 6 and 12. She is the first American Girl character which is designed to encourage an interest in science, technology, engineering and math

There are also three books created on the character. The first two books were released along with the doll on New Year’s Day. A third book will follow this year. The doll comes with space suits, a Mars habitat and a purple streak in her hair.

How the character was created

In the first book, ‘Luciana goes to Space Camp’, she learns experiments on the International Space Station. In the books, her parents are shown as supportive figures. It is an example of families which read out these books to their daughters.

Lucians is no stranger to overcoming failure in the books. She is also Chilean American so that she can promote diversity in the sciences.

Top experts gave inputs

The character was created after input from top experts. They included astronaut Megan McArthur Behnken, former NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan, US Space and Rocket Center CEO and Executive Director Deborah Barnhart and NASA’s manager of strategic alliances, Maureen O’Brien.

“We wanted to make sure we were getting it right, but we also wanted to bring attention to the fact that there are some really amazing women in this field,” said Julie Parks, director of public relations at American Girl. “This is something that could happen for you. It’s no secret that females are underrepresented in this area. We need strong innovators and a wide range of thinkers.”

The American Girl doll was first released in 1986. It is one of the most iconic toys for young girls in the US.

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Picture Credit: CNN

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