A stargazing doll designed by a six-year-old is continuing her adventures aboard the International Space Station (ISS), acting as an astronomy marketer for kids around the world.
Having spent six months aboard the the ISS with UK astronaut Tim Peake, the ‘Stargazer’ Lottie doll has remained aboard the ISS following Peake’s return home, meaning the doll has now spent more than 200 days in space.
To celebrate Lottie’s adventures in space, a short video by filmmaker Elena Rossini, about how six-year-old Abigail designed the first doll to go into space, has been produced, and was shown today (1 July) at Inspirefest.
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) January 24, 2016
Manufactured by Irish company Arklu, the Lottie doll was supported by online astronomy resources on the company website, as well as #LottieInSpace interactive competitions and content during the mission.
The response was emphatic, as letters, photos and videos from children all over the world poured in, no doubt inspired by Peake’s tweet out to his 800k followers.
The ‘Stargazer’ doll came about when Abigail couldn’t find one that suited her interests. Her mother contacted Arklu, which asked what Abigail would prefer.
The result was a doll that has sat alongside some of the most pioneering astronauts we’ve ever produced.
In the video, Abigail’s enthusiasm for all things space 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.”
— ☁️ Elena Rossini ☁️ (@_elena) June 30, 2016
Rossini got the idea when she received a Lottie doll at last year’s Inspirefest event in Dublin, with the dolls again making their mark this year.
— SiliconRepublic (@siliconrepublic) July 1, 2016
Speaking at this year’s Inspirefest, Rossini said: “Abigail is now my role model. She’s so inspiring, I’m even a space geek now. I watch NASA TV.”
A short follow-up video has been produced to celebrate Lottie’s achievements, showing just how many children were enthused by the adventure.
Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM.
Updated 5pm, 1 July 2016: This article was updated to reflect that Lottie has not returned from space just yet