ISS welcomes aboard its first-ever doll, designed by a child!

14 Dec 2015

Abigail (6) looking up to where her doll now flies above her head

A toy designed by a six-year-old space enthusiast called Abigail is about to become the first-ever doll to go aboard the International Space Station (ISS), with the Stargazer Lottie doll heading up into the skies ahead of British astronaut Tim Peake.

A special edition Lottie doll called ‘Stargazer’, designed by a fan of the series, has been chosen by the ESA to join Tim Peake on his trip up to the space station, with it already in situ on the spacecraft, having travelled up to the ISS in the Cygnus cargo spacecraft last week.

Lottie Dolls have been a feature on this site before, included in our STEM-focused Christmas gift guide for kids – with the collection promoting careers in various different scientific fields

Not just your standard dolls, the makers behind Lottie Dolls, Irish start-up Arklu, want to empower children to be themselves. Aimed at ages 3-plus, they’re pretty much putting standard STEM professions in the spotlight.

STargazer | Lottie doll ISS

Abigail had a different Lottie doll already, with her mother contacting Arklu asking about one more suited to her daughter.

“The makers asked me what she was into,” explained Abigail’s mother Zoe, in a short film made by Elena Rossini about how Stargazer Lottie came about and ended up going into space.

A filmmaker and co-founder of Gender Gap Grader, which measures the gender gap in various industries, Rossini first came across Lottie dolls, and thus got tipped off about this yarn, when speaking at Inspirefest during the summer, with all speakers at the sci-tech festival being gifted a Lottie doll.

In the video, Abigail’s enthusiasm for all things space – and all things Chris Hadfield – is there for all to see, with her saying: “Sometimes I look up and think… maybe I could go up there one day… or could I somehow see what’s up there.”

Lottie | Abigail ISS

During her time on board the ISS, Stargazer Lottie will be aiming to fulfil her mission of getting kids interested in space.

Supplementary materials for kids (or adults) interested in learning more about space are available to download from the website, including biographies of notable women in astronomy, and educational activities created by UNAWE, the global science educational outreach programme.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Get your Super Early Bird tickets now.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic