SpaceX has a brand-new all-star team member, though it’s anything however human: It’s a $20 plush-toy world that astronauts call “Little Earth” or “Earthy.”
No human beings flew on the historical business objective, called Demo-1– just a crash-test dummy called Ripley, 400 pounds of freight, and the fuzzy toy Earth. Nevertheless, NASA explained the objective as “definitely vital” in its effort to change the area shuttle bus (which retired in July 2011).
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine even hailed the objective as “the dawn of a brand-new age in American human spaceflight” after Team Dragon returned to Earth on Friday. In the coming months, SpaceX and NASA will evaluate information collected throughout the flight to prepare Team Dragon for its very first human guests: NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
In the meantime, 3 Exploration 58 team members living aboard the spaceport station– NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Area Company astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko– have actually embraced “little Earthy” as an informal novice in training.
“He’s going to invite us aboard, most likely, when we arrive,” Behnken stated Friday throughout a NASA TELEVISION broadcast “I believe Anne and David and Oleg have actually trained him up well. Ideally he can stroll us through the emergency situation short and he’s a full-fledged station team member by the time that we arrive.”
Here’s what Earthy has actually depended on, and when it might return.