Irish company makes Lottie is the first doll in space

An Irish company has sent the first ever doll into space.

Irish company makes Lottie is the first doll in space

Lottie, created by Donegal business Arklu, was on board the Orbital ATK Cygnus Cargo spacecraft which blasted off from Cape Canaveral nine days ago and arrived last week at the International Space Station.

The 19cm doll will be there to greet Tim Peake when he becomes the first ever British astronaut to visit the station today.

Cmdr Peake, the first Briton in space in 20 years, will take off this morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-month mission in a Soyuz rocket with Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko and American flight engineer Timothy Kopra.

Arklu, founded by Ian Harkin and partner Lucie Follett, contacted the European Space Station earlier this year asking if it could take part. Its doll, Lottie, has received awards all over the world — and plaudits from child experts — for being based on a nine-year-old girl rather than an exaggerated figure of an adult woman.

A recent edition of the Lottie brand included Stargazer, and the box included a tiny telescope and collector cards with information on the solar system and famous female astronauts and astronomers.

Mr Harkin, whose company is based in the Colab business incubator centre in Letterkenny, said he and his eight staff watched the Orbital rocket take off with Lottie live on Nasa TV.

“There was huge excitement and I felt very proud at having the first doll in space,” he said.

“Hopefully this will encourage more girls to get interested in science projects.”

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