The European Space Agency's astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti appeared from the International Space Station (ISS) with her Barbie doll as part of a mission to inspire girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). As the number one girls’ brand, this mission was part of Barbie’s ongoing commitment to show space and STEM as a viable career option for girls. Samantha Cristoforetti, who is the first female commander of the ISS and European Space Agency astronaut, answered questions from five girls across Europe about space, recorded by Inspiring Girls, an international charity that connects girls with female role models. The video of Samantha Cristoforetti and her doll floating in zero gravity on the ISS answering questions was shared across the EMEA region.
The ESA and Barbie have a joint mission to encourage girls to become the next generation of astronauts, engineers, and scientists, and the collaboration has resulted in the Samantha Cristoforetti Barbie doll, with part of the proceeds going to support the charity Women in Aerospace Europe. The partnership aims to address the "dream gap" issue, where girls begin to develop self-limiting beliefs from as young as five years old.