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American Girl Works With NASA For 2018 Girl Of The Year Doll: Meet Luciana Vega, An Aspiring Astronaut

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American Girl's 2018 Girl of the Year doll is made in collaboration with NASA and she's ready to go far. Her name is Luciana Vega, and she's an aspiring astronaut who wants to go to Mars.

Rather than just being pretty, American Girl dolls aim to inspire young girls to dream big and think about who they want to become when they grow up. American Girl dolls have distinct personalities, high ambitions, and elaborate stories behind them. For the latest one, American Girl worked with NASA.

American Girl's 2018 Girl Of The Year: Luciana Vega, Aspiring Astronaut

American Girl offered an exclusive first look at its 2018 Girl of the Year doll on ABC's Good Morning America, unveiling Luciana Vega: an 11-year-old character who wants to become an astronaut.

Excited girls in Space Camp uniforms were waiting on set when the 18-inch high Luciana Vega made her appearance, descending from above. Each of the girls received a Luciana doll and learned more about her story.

"In Luciana, girls will meet a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. And, while she has the skills and smarts to achieve her goals, she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step," says American Girl.

American Girl Works With NASA For Luciana Story

To develop the aspiring astronaut doll, her backstory, and the whole product line, American Girl worked with several professionals from NASA. The company got valuable advice from NASA astronaut Megan McArthur Behnken, NASA manager of strategic alliances Maureen O'Brien, U.S. Space and Rocket Center CEO Deborah Barnhart, and former chief scientist at NASA, Ellen Sofan.

At the same time, designers and editors from American Girl visited the Space Camp of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, as well as the NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas, to observe and learn from Space Camp trainees and astronauts.

STEM Is Cool, Girls!

According to American Girl, Luciana is the first doll whose character truly embraces science, technology, engineering, and math, referred to as STEM for short. While the company did launch STEM products in the past, Luciana takes things to the next level and aims to inspire girls that "STEM is cool."

The Luciana Vega doll and its full product line, including STEM-inspired accessories and outfits, will launch on Jan. 1, 2018 online, in physical retail stores, and trough American Girl's catalog.

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