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article image'Celestial Buddies' plush Earth toy takes tour of Space Station

By Karen Graham     Mar 5, 2019 in Science
A toy company has sold out of cute cuddly teddies shaped like Earth after Elon Musk sent one into orbit aboard a SpaceX rocket in the new Crew Dragon spacecraft. Earth is now enjoying its new home aboard the ISS.
On Saturday, March 2, 2019, SpaceX launched its Dragon Crew Rocket toward the International Space Station. On board were “Ripley,” a test dummy named for Sigourney Weaver’s character in the movie Alien, and Celestial Buddies’ own Earth, which SpaceX founder Elon Musk dubbed a “super high tech zero-g indicator.”
Celestial Buddies did not know in advance that their Earth would be going into space, "although a sudden flurry of orders for Earth in the 48 hours prior to liftoff had made the company wonder if something was afoot. By the time the rocket left Cape Kennedy, however, the entire inventory of Earth had been completely sold out, with scores of orders still unfilled," according to the company's website.
In a statement, Jessie and Jon from Celestial Buddies wrote: "We apologize for our current lack of Earths. We have never had a product on backorder before – but we have never had one of our products launched into space before, and we were taken totally by surprise. Thus, our reorder will not be in our warehouse until the end of April."
Celestial Buddies
Guilford, Connecticut-based Celestial Buddies is an educational toy company. The Celestial Buddies' "Big Bang" moment occurred after the creator of this miniature stuffed universe saw a documentary series on the Solar System and realized that there were no plush toys depicted our planetary neighbors. And that is how the company came about.
Each Celestial Buddy is designed to stay true to the unique variations of the real object through careful selection of fabrics and decisions regarding size, shape, and features to create an artistic interpretation of each celestial body.
Each character comes with a tag showing the actual object it personifies, along with some vital statistics and fun facts to give the Buddy educational value. Buddies include the sun, the moon, a comet, a black hole, and all the planets, including Pluto and its biggest moon, Charon.
Earth's tour of the space station
Earth was added to the Crew Dragon capsule shortly before launch as a Super high tech zero-g indicator," according to Elon Musk. Little Earth didn't know it was going to get a tour of the space station. That came as a surprise.
Shortly after docking at the ISS, the crew capsule was opened and Ripley and Earth were given a royal welcome by the astronauts.
At the start of the tour, Little Earth got its first great view of Mother Earth, and it was a "great view."
Little Earth went along to keep astronaut Anne McClain company while she did a quick height measurement. (She's grown 2 inches in space).
The next day, Earth's tour of the space station started out bright and early with some morning coffee in a bag. It then got to try on an emergency mask along with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques. Everyone has to practice this so that if there is an ammonia leak, they can don their masks quickly.
We think Earth is having a great time with its new friends. Musk is following Earth's escapades in space and retweeted one of McClain's images. "Buddy is like an Earth Pokémon," the SpaceX founder wrote.
More about celestial buddies, Earth plush toy, Spacex, Crew Dragon, International Space Station
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