International Space Station Welcomes New Buddy

March 7, 2019

Jessie Silbert with Celestial Buddies toys

The SpaceX Crew Dragon, an un-crewed spacecraft that docked at the International Space Station March 3, did have one special passenger. So special that Elon Musk even tweeted about it. Meet Earth. Or rather, Little Earth, as NASA astronaut Anne McClain has called the plush stuffed toy that will live at the space station.

The stuffed earth with hands, feet, eyes, and a mouth was created by Jessie Silbert, a first-year graduate student in Sports Product Design, a Portland-based program in the College of Design’s School of Art + Design.

The toy is one in a line of solar system characters from Silbert’s company Celestial Buddies that includes a fiery, fuzzy, sun; Mars with a wispy polar ice cap; and a googly-eyed black hole.

“It’s been crazy,” Silbert told Around the O. “It was weird to see photos where the whole cabin is black and white and then a little blue blob.”

Musk described the buddy as the Earth Pokémon. The squishy pale blue dot sold out overnight.

Read more about Silbert and her otherworldly design journey in Around the O story “UO design student’s stuffed toy Earth is out of this world.”