American Girl heads to space with 2018 doll of the year

12:00 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 Lifestyle
The new American Girl doll Luciana Vega was created with help from NASA. American Girl

American Girl is headed to space with its 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega.

What’s her story? She’s an 11-year-old girl who dreams of being the first person on Mars.

American Girl consulted with Ellen Stofan, former NASA chief scientist, Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Maureen O’Brien, manager of strategic alliances at NASA, and Megan McArthur Behnken, a NASA astronaut. The author of the Luciana books that accompany the doll, Erin Teagan, worked in a biochemistry lab for 10 years before becoming a writer.

American Girl dolls sell for $115 for the doll and a book. Luciana also has accessories for $25, which includes a bag, a space camp log, a star finder and space ice cream. You can also buy a Mars habitat playset for $350, a maker station for $100, a telescope for $40 and a robotic dog for $35. She comes wearing a galaxy dress and you can get a matching dress for $48 or dress her in pajamas for $24 and you can get your matching pajamas for $40. You can also get her a flight suite for $48 or an outfit for space camp at $34.

Luciana will launch a science, technology, engineering and math-based educational program from Scholastic and Space Camp.

The hope is that through play, girls will be encouraged to pursue interests and then careers in science, technology, electronics and math careers. Her story book tells of a girl who faces many challenges and obstacles and sometimes fails. That’s part of the goal with this doll: To teach girls that it’s OK to fail and that failure often provides the best life lessons.

Find out more at AmericanGirl.com.