It seemed like a normal day and for a few hours there was a dream of going to space and witnessing history with the launch of the Crew Dragon and the joint space mission between Space X and NASA. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been chosen to lead NASA’s first manned mission in the last nine years, but they were not the only Crew Dragon crew, because if they paid attention to the launch, they probably saw that a cute dinosaur Plush and sequins is the third passenger on this mission.
A stuffed doll in space?
It may seem strange, in fact more than one suspect that it was a publicity stunt as soon as we saw that on the Space X page you can buy a replica of this cute stuffed dinosaur with sequins for “only” 25 dollars. However, the history of stuffed animals in space missions goes back a long time and in reality the reason has to do with much more than an emotional attachment, as this is the easiest way for astronauts to detect when they have arrived. to a point of weightlessness on takeoffs. According to space historian Robert Pearlman, the tradition of carrying stuffed toys on space missions dates back to the first time that humans arrived in space more than 50 years ago. And of course the Crew Dragon mission was not going to be the exception.
When the toy begins to float, it means to the passengers of the shuttle that they have reached zero gravity, allowing them to take more control of the situation and of course loosen their seat belts. A few months ago, when the Crew Dragon’s unmanned control flight to the International Space Station was conducted, Elon Musk tweeted an image of a stuffed planet earth called “Little Earth.”
Super high tech zero-g indicator added just before launch! pic.twitter.com/CRO26plaXq
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 2, 2019
The romantic meaning of this dinosaur
Of course, in 55 years of space missions we have seen all kinds of stuffed animals fly into space, from the small planet earth of Elon Musk, to replicas of figures of the moment, such as OLAF from Frozen and a long etcetera. However, the dinosaur that accompanies the NASA Crew Dragon mission and Space X has a very special meaning for astronaut Doug Hurley.
In 2013, astronaut Karen Nyberg (who is currently married to Hurley) completed a mission in which she spent several months on board the International Space Station, so she began to embroider a small toy dinosaur. for his son Jack. Said dinosaur was immortalized in the following photograph published by NASA.
This little dinosaur still remains on the International Space Station, so Doug Hurley decided to take the now famous stuffed and sequined dinosaur on this mission, so that once the Crew Dragon mission reaches the ISS, both dinosaurs can be rediscover.