KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Following the tradition of bringing a “gravity indicator” on their spaceflight to the International Space Station, the Crew-1 astronauts selected Baby Yoda for their journey in the SpaceX Dragon capsule.
The second group of astronauts to launch from Kennedy Space Center since 2011, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with Japanese Space Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi were in route Sunday night to the orbiting laboratory 200 miles above Earth. The four astronauts launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in the Crew Dragon capsule called Resilience from Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday evening.
[WATCH: ‘The Child’ boards the ISS]
It will take about 27 hours for Resilience to reach the ISS, in the meantime the astronauts revealed their companion as none other than this year’s it character: Baby Yoda from the Disney+ show “Mandalorian."
The Japanese and American astronaut crew had kept Baby Yoda a secret until reaching zero-gravity. NASA and SpaceX would also not reveal who the fifth passenger was until the astronauts were ready.
The younger Yoda, aka “The Child” is part of Disney’s spin off “Star Wars” series and yes, he is very cute.
After the astronauts got situated for the night, Glover told SpaceX mission control, “Baby Yoda says you guys can come back on board" indicating they can turn the cameras back on inside the spacecraft
The first astronauts to launch with SpaceX in May, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley got a little help from their sons when they selected their gravity tool, in the form of a sparkly dinosaur nicknamed Tremor. On the first Crew Dragon flight to the space station without astronauts SpaceX sent an Earth-shaped stuffed animal called Earthy.
Astronauts flying in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and now with SpaceX’s Dragon, bring a small soft toy with them as an infallible indicator of weightlessness. When the spacecraft reaches orbit, the toy floats in the cabin.
A few hours into their spaceflight the green robbed stuffed Baby Yoda could be seen floating among the astronauts inside the Crew Dragon.
The last two toys to serve as zero-g indicators quickly sold out online. Baby Yoda is already on a current wave of popularity but a visit to the International Space Station probably won’t hurt.