Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican-born woman to travel to space, has been honored with something else that’s out of this world.
Just in time for International Women’s Day (March 8), Mattel announced that they have created a Barbie doll in Echazarreta’s likeness as part of its Barbie Dream Gap Project, a global initiative the company created in 2018 to “raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.”
“Barbie is dedicated to showcasing women who are role models from all backgrounds, professions, and nationalities so that girls around the world can see themselves in careers that might not always seem as accessible,” Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel said in a statement. “STEM is a field where women are severely underrepresented, and our hope is that honoring these seven leaders in science and technology will encourage girls to follow their passion in this field.”
Echazarreta’s Barbie is dressed in a navy blue flight suit. The 27-year-old electrical engineer, who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, made history last summer when she was a passenger on a Blue Origin rocket that launched more than 62 miles above the Earth’s surface.
“At 7 years old, when I used to pretend my [Barbie] was an Astronaut traveling through the galaxy, I could never have imagined I would one day have my very own Barbie,” Echazarreta wrote on social media. “It is such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Models campaign. During this campaign, they wanted to honor impactful women around the world, and I get the beautiful opportunity to represent Latin America.”
Other women included in the 2023 campaign are YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Space Scientist and Science Educator Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, and Marine Researcher and Microbiologist Dr. Antje Boetius, among others.
Congratulations Katya Echazarreta and all the women part of the Barbie Dream Gap Project!