Russia’s only woman astronaut Anna Kikina has inspired Mattel to come up with Barbie’s astronaut dolls as a part of their latest campaign ‘You can be whoever you want.’
36-year-old Anna Kikina is currently the only Russian woman scheduled to go into orbit in 2022. She will be the fourth woman to travel into space and 58 years after Valentina Tereshkova was the first spacewoman.
The global toymaker released the new dolls, in two versions of costumes: a blue training suit and a white Orlan-type space suit.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos in a statement said Mattel released the not for sale cosmonaut Barbie which is inspired by Kikina’s “talents, successes and personal qualities.”
“Today, Anna is a role model for many: she is both strong and feminine, bold and gentle, wise and with an excellent sense of humour — a bright personality in which professionalism and warmth are harmoniously combined,” the agency said in a statement.
According to The Moscow Times, she is set to become the fourth Russian woman to go into space with a 2022 mission to the International Space Station, a decade after her admission to the cosmonaut corps.
Kikina posed with the look-alike Barbie, part of Mattel’s “You Can Be Anything” role models campaign, shown wearing a jet blue jumpsuit with Kikina’s name tag and white overall Orlan spacesuit with Roscosmos patches.
Out of 124 Russian or Soviet cosmonauts, only 4 have been female. Earlier, she used to work as a host on Radio Siberia and then trained as an engineer or emergency situations.
The first female cosmonaut who became the prototype for Barbie dolls was Valentina Tereshkova, who flew into orbit in 1963.