Given that the Little Ms. Astronaut has always been our most popular mascot, a space-themed crate was only a matter of time. When the 10-year-long New Horizons mission that launched a probe to Pluto was recently granted a mission extension to continue on to the furthest reaches of our solar system, it seemed the perfect time.
We'd been in love with the New Horizons mission for lots of reasons, but the most notable is huge role that women have played in the mission. There are approximately 3 dozen women on the team — roughly 25% of the team. That's pretty in line with the overall proportion of women in STEM as a whole, but a huge leap forward for space missions. Even better, women filled almost all of the most critical technical and leadership roles on the team — trajectory designer, Mission Operations Manager (MOM), and team leads for the 6 major technical subteams.
Contents of the Little Ms. Space Scientist crate:
- New Horizons Mission Briefing packet, briefing your favorite girl as a member of the team, including:
- Introduction to the mission
- Mission timeline — plotting the probe's course over the last 10 years!
- Official NASA map of the probe's trip through the solar system
- Team Profile spotlighting of 6 of the women on the team — scientists, programmers, hardware engineers, mission designers and NASA's first woman MOM (Mission Operations Manager)
- Diagram of the probe and the crucial scientific sensors it's carrying through the solar system
- Personalizable Little Ms. Crate Space Agency security badge and lanyard to identify her as a member of the team
- A toy headset, just like the ones the operations team wears
- Space Station Card Game: A custom deck of cards that introduces all of the various modules on a space station, challenging you to lay them out to create as many different space station configurations as possible — you can even dock with your friends' decks
- Space shuttle glider
- Solar system stickers