This Sunday (15), NASA launched the Crew-1 mission, the first in partnership with SpaceX to take human beings into space. The four astronauts, however, were not the only crew members in the Crew Dragon cabin. A fifth passenger was also placed on board: a Baby Yoda doll, from The Mandalorian series.
According to images released by NASA, a plush of the Star Wars character is among the crew. The doll was more than an easter egg and its presence has a meaning for the mission.
As Tech Crunch explains, Baby Yoda serves as an “zero gravity indicator”. The space agency usually uses small, soft objects to float inside the spacecraft, which serve as a simple indication that the spacecraft has left Earth’s atmosphere and is already in space.
In addition to Baby Yoda, the Crew-1 mission features astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, who are en route to the International Space Station (ISS). The trip is expected to end on Tuesday afternoon (17).
The launch was a success and marks NASA’s first commercial mission with a crew. The feat is also a milestone for SpaceX, a company led by Elon Musk that used the Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon cabin in the operation.
For those who do not know Baby Yoda, the character is one of the protagonists of The Mandalorian, exclusive series of Disney +. The streaming service officially arrives in Brazil tomorrow (17).