The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched into space from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday night. The crew consisted of NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Soichi Noguchi, and an adorable special guest. Baby Yoda, aka The Child, in plush form also joined the crew!
The Mandalorian star can be seen in live shots from inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, floating about inside the cabin.
“We’ve got Baby Yoda on board trying to take a seat right now,” the NASA communications specialist Leah Cheshier said in the agency’s livestream of the mission.
“I think that’s Victor Glover’s seat, so I hope he doesn’t mind,” the SpaceX engineer Jessica Anderson responded.
“Maybe Baby Yoda’s trying to pilot the vehicle,” Cheshier added.
The crew will be docking at the International Space Station on Monday night where he’ll remain with the astronauts for approximately six months, as part of the longest human spaceflight in NASA history.
Baby Yoda’s invite to participate in the journey is part of a long tradition in human spaceflight. Astronauts use a small plush toy as a “zero-gravity indicators” that is used to determine when the spacecraft is in orbit and has reached a microgravity environment.
Other zero G indicators that have been used in the past include a stuffed dinosaur named Tremor, a plush Earth, nicknamed “Earthy,” and a plush Snoopy in an astronaut outfit.
Safe travels to SpaceX’s Crew and Baby Yoda!