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American Girl Debuts New Doll, an Aspiring Astronaut Named Luciana

American Girl introduces its new 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega, a creative, confident 11-year-old who wants to be the first person on Mars. - Hand-out American Girl
American Girl introduces its new 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega, a creative, confident 11-year-old who wants to be the first person on Mars. Hand-out American Girl

Mattel on Monday debuted its newest American Girl doll — an aspiring astronaut who NASA hopes will inspire young children to become passionate about space and science.

The toy company described the new doll as an 11-year-old named Luciana Vega, a “creative” and “confident” girl who wants to be the first person to touch down on Mars.

American Girl said it teamed up with NASA to create Luciana in an effort to encourage youngsters to pursue careers and interests in science, technology, engineering and math.

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“It is so important to find exciting new ways to inspire our next generation of space explorers,” NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, who serves on the project’s advisory board, said in a statement. “I always want to encourage girls and boys to pursue their dreams, no matter how big, and I think it helps to show how those dreams can become reality for any kid.”

American Girl President Katy Dickson called the doll a “role model for today’s girls.”

The 18-inch Luciana doll, which comes with a book, sells for about $115 in stores and online.

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