The team onboard SpaceX‘s Crew Dragon brought a surprise stowaway with them on Sunday’s launch.
A Baby Yoda doll was used as the mission’s ‘zero-gravity indicator,’ confirming the spaceship is in orbit and under a microgravity environment.
When the Crew Dragon separated from its Falcon 9 rocket, ‘the Child’ can be seen bopping around the cockpit while the four astronauts are safely strapped in.
The launch was a complete success, with the team expected to arrive at the International Space Station late Monday.
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The astronauts aboard the historic Crew Dragon launch Sunday night brought a stuffed Baby Yoda doll as a ‘zero-gravity indicator,’ confirming the spaceship was in orbit and under a microgravity environment
It’s not the first time an adorable critter has been used to establish zero gravity on a space mission.
For May’s Crew Dragon test flight, a stuffed apatosaurus named Tremor was chosen by the children of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
When Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner flew an unmanned test flight last December, a Snoopy doll in an astronaut outfit was on board.
And a plush Earth, nicknamed ‘Earthy,’ flew on Crew Dragon’s first unmanned flight back in March 2019.
Plush dolls are often used on space flights to indicate the ship has reached a zero-gravity environment. When the Crew Dragon separated from its Falcon 9 rocket, ‘the Child’ can be seen floating around the cockpit while the four astronauts are safely strapped in
For May’s Crew Dragon test flight, a stuffed apatosaurus named Tremor was chosen by the children of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley
Not everyone will be happy about the latest choice of mascot, however: Some viewers of The Mandalorian have slammed Baby Yoda for possibly committing genocide in Season 2.
Baby Yoda, the breakout character in Disney+’s The Mandalorian is the latest adorable mascot to join a mission into space
In Chapter 10, The Passenger, which premiered November 6, Mando is transporting Frog Lady from Tatooine to Trask.
She is bringing along a container of her unfertilized eggs, the last she will be able to produce, and needs to reach her husband in time for him to fertilize them or their family line will die out.
But, throughout the episode, a hungry Baby Yoda keeps trying to eat Frog Lady’s eggs.
When Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner flew an unmanned test flight last December, this Snoopy doll was on board
While many fans of the show found the antics ‘funny,’ others were unsettled by the character’s behavior.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith shared his distaste for Baby Yoda’s culinary habits
‘Me trying to explain to my kid that Baby Yoda eating those eggs isn’t cute, it’s genocide,’ filmmaker Kevin Smith tweeted, earning thousands of likes.
Some viewers of The Mandalorian were outraged when Baby Yoda ate another character’s unfertilized eggs
Lucasfilm creative art manager Phil Szostak tweeted that the Child’s actions were meant to be disturbing and comedic.
‘For the record, Chapter 10 of #TheMandalorian makes it clear that the Frog Lady’s eggs are unfertilized, like the chicken eggs many of us enjoy,’ he wrote.
‘But obviously, chickens aren’t sentient beings and the Child eating the eggs is intentionally disturbing, for comedic effect.’
Sunday’s mission was a success, with NASA’s Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi expected to arrive late Monday at the ISS, where they will remain for six months.
It marked NASA’s first operational flight with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.
The space agency has begun allowing commercial rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station instead of only government-operated spacecrafts.
Astronauts, from left, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the Resilience
This is also only the second time that SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk, sent people into orbit in its Dragon capsule via its Falcon rocket.
Musk disclosed Saturday that he ‘most likely’ has coronavirus and was forced to quarantine.
He was replaced in his official duties at Kennedy by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell.
Vice President Mike Pence was also in attendance.