SpaceX Astronauts Use Baby Yoda Doll as Zero-Gravity Indicator

The 27-hour ride to the space station an orbiting laboratory some 250 miles above Earth was originally scheduled to begin on Saturday

Baby Yoda Goes to Outer Space

The Crew-1 mission marks a crucial milestone in the development of a space industry in which private sector companies provide business and tourism services in low-Earth orbit.

As four astronauts began their journey from Earth to the International Space Station on Sunday, an additional crew member made a surprise appearance: Baby Yoda.

It is also the culmination of years of collaboration between NASA and the private sector as part of an effort to bring launch capabilities back to USA soil and end a dependency on Russian Federation for trips to the International Space Station.

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The U.S. Consul said, "Now, as then, Bermuda is helping make possible new advances in space flight and in advancing science, engineering, technology, and math education objectives. Historically, Bermuda has formed an important part of NASA's worldwide network of tracking and data stations".

The crew, including Baby Yoda, will dock with the ISS at 11 p.m. EST and spend about six months onboard the orbiting outpost. NASA is providing live coverage of that docking, hatch opening, and the welcoming ceremony aboard the ISS via its website. Victor Glover, the pilot, and mission specialist Shannon Walker, a physicist - and mission specialist Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, an aeronautical engineer. The crew also adjusted well to weightlessness that they will experience throughout the flight, NASA said.

SpaceX plans to reuse the booster in the latest mission on its next crewed flight, which is scheduled to launch next year carrying another crew of four astronauts.

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Hopkins, the Commander for the mission, radioed back to mission control during the flight, "Well done, that was one heck of a ride". Teams on the ground moved the spacecraft, named Resilience, into the proper configuration for the trip, and the crew removed their SpaceX spacesuits and prepared the cabin as they wind down their first day in space. For Demo-2, the crew took along a sequined dinosaur Beanie Baby, chosen by the astronaut's children.

Because these vehicles will technically be owned by SpaceX and Boeing, with NASA serving as a customer that buys missions for astronauts, the companies will also be able to use their vehicles to fly tourists, private researchers or anyone else who can afford a $50 million-plus ticket. "Congratulations to everyone. Resilience is in orbit".

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