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Baby Yoda Doll Joined SpaceX Crew Astronauts in Mission to the International Space Station

This is the way.

Baby Yoda with a wide-mouth smile in Disney+'s The Mandalorian Star Wars series.

Baby Yoda has won the hearts of people all over the world, so it only makes sense that our planet’s favorite fictional son is now off to spread cuteness in a galaxy far, far away. A plush baby Yoda doll joined SpaceX’s Crew Dragon in the second-ever crewed flight of a SpaceX spacecraft. He was joined by astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi in their mission to the International Space Station, which launched Monday and docked with the ISS after a 27-hour flight.

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The doll was brought on board as a chosen zero-gravity indicator. It’s a tradition that has been around for years, as astronauts have frequently brought plush toys with them to let them know when the spacecraft has reached zero gravity.

In May, SpaceX astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley brought a stuffed dinosaur named Tremor with them on the company’s first ever crewed mission. The men chose the toy as a tribute to their sons, both of whom love dinosaurs. Behnken said, “That was a super cool thing for us to get a chance to do for both of our sons who I hope are super excited to see their toys floating around with us on board, … I’m sure they would rather be here, given the opportunity, but hopefully they’re proud of this as well.”

In this video, you can see baby Yoda floating around alongside the astronauts:

In an interview aboard the ISS, astronaut Michael Hopkins talked about the decision to bring baby Yoda, saying, “We had just started watching the series [The Mandalorian], and it’s hard not to like baby Yoda. It kind of ties in with the name of our spacecraft as well, we talk about resilience, and it’s been a tough year, and the fact that NASA and SpaceX were able to get our spacecraft ready to go throughout this year, throughout the pandemic … we were inspired by everybody’s effort to that … We hope that [Resilience] puts a smile on people’s face. It brings hope to them. Baby Yoda does the same thing. I think when you see him it’s hard not to smile and so it seemed appropriate for our crew.”

He added, “I think the ride into space was a little rougher than baby Yoda is used to, compared to what he rides normally.” Maybe so, but at least baby Yoda won’t have to worry about being swallowed whole by a mamacore on the way to the International Space Station.

Godspeed baby Yoda and the Crew Dragon team!

baby yoda gif

(via CNN, featured image: Disney+)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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