Two NASA astronauts who arrived at the International Space Station Sunday morning in their new SpaceX spacecraft brought with them a reminder of their young sons who they will spend up to four months without seeing in person.
The astronauts launched Saturday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A in Florida to the awe of all those watching around the world and on the Space Coast.
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken brought along a little stuffed dinosaur after the toy was selected by their 6 and 10-year-old sons to join them on the journey. During a morning check-in Sunday, the sparkling dino could be seen in the spacecraft.
Welcome aboard the @SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft!— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
In this video from space, @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug reveal the name of their capsule: Endeavour. Take a look inside as the crew continues their journey to the @Space_Station: https://t.co/K9S5mejONx pic.twitter.com/mvH8UhE5FW
The blue sequined dinosaur accompanying them — their young sons’ toy, named Tremor — was also in good shape, Behnken assured viewers in a video. Tremor was going to join Earthy, a plush globe delivered to the space station on last year’s test flight of a crew-less crew Dragon. Behnken said both toys would return to Earth with them at the mission’s end.
“We do have a friend on board with us. We introduced you to Tremor yesterday when we did our little activity with the camera,” Behnken said. “Tremor also had a good nights sleep. I know that both of our sons are pretty happy about that with their pet dinosaur making it into orbit and having a good night in zero gravity.”
The astronauts plan to bring the dinosaur and Earthy home after their mission.
"We plan once we get on board the space station to reunite Tremor with Earthy (and) plan to bring both of them back to Earth," Behnken said.
In the meantime, Tremor will be with the astronauts on the station, getting to work.
"I know that we'll get Tremor through the safety brief and get all the education that's required so that we'll have a safe operation while we're on board the space station should anything come up that we need to be prepared for," the astronaut said. "I know that Tremor is also looking forward to helping us out with EVA preparations in case we need to do a spacewalk."
The dinosaur TY beanie babies toy was for sale on SpaceX.com briefly Saturday after the launch but quickly sold out.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.