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Meet the American Girl doll of the year with ties to NASA

Nicole Villalpando

American Girl is headed to space with its 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega. What’s her story? She’s an 11-year-old girl who dreams of being the first person on Mars.

American Girl consulted with Ellen Stofan, former NASA Chief Scientist, Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Maureen O’Brien, manager of strategic alliances at NASA, and Megan McArthur Behnken, a NASA astronaut.

Luciana will have products such as a Mars habitat and a flight suit. She’ll also launch a science, technology, engineering and math-based educational program from Scholastic and Space Camp.

To celebrate the launch, stores including the pop-up shop at the Domain will host science demonstrations, crafts and giveaways on Jan. 1. American Girl dolls typically sell for $115. Find out more at