Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Your Very Own Astronaut

Your Very Own Astronaut

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 24, 2012

Never let it be said that the Church is behind the times! In September, 1960 — about a year and a half after the naming of the original Mercury astronauts — the Children’s Friend printed this wonderful paper doll to color and cut out.

Send in a picture of your completed paper doll. I double dog dare you.





  1. I love the archaic looking space suit.

    Comment by Steve C. — February 24, 2012 @ 7:16 am

  2. Nice. Straight out of all those Heinlein books I used to read as a teenager.

    (They were my dad’s! I’m not that old!)

    Comment by Researcher — February 24, 2012 @ 8:45 am

  3. If you cut out the faceplate, how will Mr. Space Force breathe in his Space Helmet?

    Comment by iguacufalls — February 24, 2012 @ 9:41 am

  4. If you don’t cut out the faceplate, how will you see his face?

    If you’re worried, why not put a piece of cellophane in there. Choose whatever color you like.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 24, 2012 @ 10:30 am

  5. And, of course, there were probably no real-life models of space suits available in summer 1960. I know I didn’t have one.

    By early 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, his space suit looked nothing like the model here, or like the ones that Alan Shepherd or Gus Grissom (or even Gordon Cooper) wore.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 24, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  6. My brothers had GI Joes in the ’60s when they (the GI Joes,. not the brothers) were about the same size as Barbies, and wore fabric clothing that the boys stored in footlookers (all of which looked very much like the Barbie equipment painted camouflage, but I think I made the mistake only once of referring to them as the boys’ dolls). Anyway, one of them had a rubberized fabric deep sea diving outfit, with a plastic and glass diver’s helmet that looked very much like this space helmet. It was all water tight so you could take GI Joe deep sea diving in the sink or bathtub. Not that my brothers ever let ME do that. Oh, no. But it sure looked like fun.

    (The other outfit they had that I thought looked the most fun was the flame thrower, a tank that strapped onto the doll’s back with a long hose and nozzle. Sound effects provided by boy owner, of course. Man, the boys had ALL the fun back then.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 24, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  7. Girls play with dolls. boys play with Action Figures.

    Comment by Steve C. — February 24, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  8. My printer is broken :(

    Comment by Mina — February 24, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

  9. This doll was before my time, but the paper dolls were my favorite thing about the Friend! That, and the drawings with hidden objects in them.

    Comment by soleil — February 24, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  10. I have fond memories of Zosh, an extraterrestrial boy in the “Children’s Friend” of about 1958 who visited earth.

    Like everything else, Ardis, space suits evolved. But the earliest designs descended from the space suits of science fiction. The two contenders were suits of armor pitted against inflated fabric:

    Comment by SteveR — February 25, 2012 @ 9:05 am

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