Mattel unveils Barbie inspired by NASA’s ‘hidden figure’ Katherine Johnson

Mattel is releasing a Barbie inspired by NASA mathematician and “hidden figure” Katherine Johnson later this year.


Not to be outdone by American Girl’s release of an aspiring female astronaut doll, Mattel is releasing a Barbie inspired by “hidden figure” Katherine Johnson.

Johnson was an African-American mathematician for NASA in the mid-1950s, whose flawless calculation of the trajectory of the space agency’s first American-manned flight into space was depicted by Taraji P. Henson in the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures.”

“The Barbie Inspiring Women Katherine Johnson doll celebrates the achievements of a pioneer who broke through barriers of race and gender,” according to Mattel’s website. “Like the trajectories she calculated, Katherine’s contributions inspire young people to excel in math and science, and to reach for the stars.”

RELATED STORY: NASA, American Girl collaborate on astronaut doll Luciana Vega.

The Johnson doll will be released April 16, making it the second NASA-inspired doll released in 2018.

The first — American Girl’s Luciana Vega, an 11-year-old aspiring astronaut with dreams of being the first person on Mars — went on sale Jan. 1.

To pre-order the Katherine Johnson doll, which costs $29.99, visit Mattel’s website here.

Alex Stuckey covers NASA and the environment for the Houston Chronicle. You can reach her at or

via Houston Chronicle


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