A giant leap for Barbie: iconic doll goes to space

Who: Mattel, T1 Agency and GCI Communications, along with STEM Camp—a non profit kids camp organization focused on STEM programming.

What: A stunt that launched Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll to the edge of space and back.

When & Where: The launch was last Friday. The launch site was London, Ont. but Astronaut Barbie rose up well into the stratosphere.

Why: As part of Barbie’s 60th anniversary celebrations, Mattel is eager to present Barbie as a career woman capable of doing anything. That goal perfectly complements STEM Camp’s goal of inspiring kids 5-13 to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. “For the first time, Barbie went to space and we hope this inspires a new generation of girls who will pursue STEM careers,” said Lisa Perry, Barbie brand manager at Mattel Canada, in a release.

How: Astronaut Barbie—complete with space suit, helmet and Canadian flag—was attached to a high-altitude weather balloon and released into the stratosphere. She rose to about 38 kilometres, sending back video capturing her symbolic trip to STEM students below. Mattel also invited aerospace Engineer Natalie Panek to the launch, where she shared her own insights about a career in aerospace engineering and how she pursued her dream of exploring space.

Is 38 kilometres space? Generally, 100 kilometres is considered the start of space. But we all talked about Red Bull Stratos as a space jump, and Felix Baumgartner leapt from his balloon at about 38 kilometres. So lets just say for marketing purposes 38 kilometres is space. Plus check out the picture. Looks like space. 

Quote: “STEM is all about science, exploration and discovery. We were so excited to send Barbie to space, so kids could learn the science and technology behind making this magic happen.” —Lisa Perry, Barbie brand manager at Mattel.

David Brown