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Baby yoda arrives in space

Four astronauts have arrived on the International Space Station on the first flight operated by a private company, and they brought a guest with them.NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Japanese space agency JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi docked with the ISS on Tuesday afternoon.NASA’s Kate Rubins and the Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov…

Four astronauts have arrived on the International Space Station on the first flight operated by a private company, and they brought a guest with them.

NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Japanese space agency JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi docked with the ISS on Tuesday afternoon.

NASA’s Kate Rubins and the Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov were already on board the ISS and waiting to greet them.

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Mr Glover became the first African-American astronaut to arrive for an extended stay as a crew member on the station while Mr Noguchi became only the third person to leave Earth in three different types of vehicle.

The crew travelled on the Crew Dragon Resilience from Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, which was launched on Monday using one of the company’s reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

In addition to the four astronauts, the Crew Dragon also carried another special guest, with an important job.

A plush toy of the Baby Yoda character from Disney’s The Mandalorian travelled on board with the astronauts to indicate when they reached microgravity.

Toys are often used for this very purpose, creating a visual indication of when a craft reaches microgravity for the astronauts on board.

When a SpaceX module was used in a demonstration in May, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley rode with a sequined dinosaur plush toy.

The crew will remain on board the ISS for around six months to conduct experiments and space walks to update, maintain and repair the exterior of the space station.

They’re also set to be joined by another crew on a second SpaceX flight in 2021.

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