After a long journey through the darkness with bird’s eye views of planet earth in the rear-view, Space X’s Crew-1 mission docked at the International Space Station (ISS) late Monday night, carrying with it four astronauts and, not to mention, a special little helper.
The hatches are open and NASA’s @SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts Shannon Walker, @Astro_Soichi, @AstroVicGlover, and @Astro_illini are the newest residents aboard the @Space_Station. Welcome aboard! pic.twitter.com/WYwC7jRVQk
— NASA (@NASA) November 17, 2020
The Crew Dragon “Resilience” docked just past 11 pm ET on Monday, after a 27-hour long flight from Florida’s Cape Canaveral. At about 1:10 in the morning ET, the hatch opened, and NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover floated out of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, followed by JAXA (Japan’s space agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, holding with him the crew’s special helper: a Baby Yoda plush doll.
The Baby Yoda doll, modelled after the character “The Child” from Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian TV series, was also seen tied to the wall during the flight after launch, being used as an indicator to the astronauts that the launch phase is over when the doll begins to float weightlessly, indicating that zero gravity has been reached.
Of course, Baby Yoda was also used to make sure the force is with the crew…
Twitter, as usual, was quick to react:
Space X brining a baby yoda with them into orbit last night is just immaculate vibes pic.twitter.com/sk6r9klrQs
— Linda Rouifed (@lindarouifed11) November 16, 2020
space x bringing baby yoda to space is the redemption to 2020
— hannah (@hannah_roro) November 17, 2020
— MysticalJoyride (@MysticalJoyride) November 16, 2020
The astronauts (and Baby Yoda) are set to begin a six-month science mission aboard the space station. They will conduct science and maintenance work, returning in Spring 2021, the longest human space mission ever launched from the United States.
The Crew-1 mission marks the first commercial flight to the International Space Station. A step closer to eventually getting regular commercial space flights in order, a long time vision of Space X founder Elon Musk. It’s the first time in history that the Federal Aviation Administration has licensed a human orbital spaceflight launch.
“SpaceX and NASA, congratulations, this is a new era of operational flight to the International Space Station from the Florida coast,” the mission’s commander, astronaut Mike Hopkins, told mission control after docking at the ISS.