90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

“Baby Yoda” A Surprise Crewmate On SpaceX’s Crew Dragon

The Child is back in season 2 of Disney's "The Mandalorian." Photo: Disney

The crew of four astronauts launching on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule had a surprise stowaway on board — “The Child” from Disney’s new show The Mandalorian.

It’s a long tradition in spaceflight to bring aboard a small toy or plush doll in the capsule. Astronauts keep an eye on it to watch when it starts floating — indicating the moment they’ve reached space and experience weightlessness.

They’re called zero-g indicators. The crew of SpaceX’s DM-2 mission back in May brought a dinosaur toy picked out by the children of crewmates Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

The identity of the Crew-1 zero-g indicator was kept secret until SpaceX started beaming back video from inside the capsule. The Child, often referred to as Baby Yoda, could be seen floating through the cabin as the crew began prepping for its 27 hour trip to the International Space Station.

The crew, including Baby Yoda, will dock with the ISS at 11 p.m. EST and spend about six months onboard the orbiting outpost. It’s unclear if Baby Yoda will come back home at the end of the mission or spend additional time onboard the station.

Crew-1 is SpaceX’s first operational mission for NASA’s Commercial Crew program. NASA astroanuts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, launched on a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday night from Kennedy Space Center.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »