'GuinGuin,' The Fifth Penguin Crew Member Of The Latest SpaceX Launch
By Vaibhavi Dahake
24 April 2021
SpaceX's latest rocket launched four astronauts into orbit Friday morning, accompanied by a cute toy penguin names Guin Guin.
At 5:49 a.m. ET on Friday, a multinational squad of four astronauts left Earth aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship, starting off a NASA-funded mission called Crew-2.
Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency during the live video tour of the space craft explained that we have a fifth crew member with us showing the toy penguine.
"We have a fifth crew member and he can actually fly!" announced Hoshide. "It is a penguin that our boys chose and his name is 'GuinGuin.' Welcome GuinGuin to space!"
The penguin tou is the Crew-2 mission's "zero-g indicator. When Endeavour reached orbit about nine minutes after leaving the ground at NASA's Space Center, GuinGuin began to float,telling that the astronauts were now in the weightless environment of outer space.
The four Crew-2 astronauts of SpaceX crew, Hoshide, Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA – brought Guin Guin into Crew Dragon hours before the launch.
"It was this cute, cute, fluffy penguin that's floating around in zero-G right now," Elon Musk, CEO and founder of SpaceX, said in a press conference following the launch.
Spaceships have a tradition of carrying toys with them to alert them about the Zero G Indicator. The practice has been going on for some time t=now in NASA. Till now a sequined dinosaur, A baby Yoda had been crew members of space flights.
SpaceX has also borrowed the practice and flew a plush Earth on its first Crew Dragon demonstration flight to the International Space Station in March 2019.
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