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Light sabre on cargo manifest for next Shuttle mission

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Star Wars is 30 years old, and Hollywood props cupboards are full of useless (but very cool) old tat. What better way to highlight both these facts than to announce that the original "light sabre" from the Star Wars movies, as wielded by Mark Hamill, is to be sent to space on board the next space shuttle mission.

So, when Discovery blasts off in October (lightning, foamy insulation and astronaut sobriety tests permitting, of course) it will carry a little piece of Hollywood history with it.

The plan is that it should then return to Earth with the crew at the end of the mission. We can only hope that George Lucas has been made aware of the quality of the excuses NASA employees have submitted for lost or stolen equipment, and is suitably prepared.

Before it goes to space, the lightsabre will travel to Houston, Texas, to be officially handed over by Chewbacca. Upon its return, it will be greeted by Stormtroopers and the droid R2D2.

We note in passing that the estimated cost of lifting cargo into space on board the Space Shuttle starts at $10,000 per pound, according to a pricing structure set by NASA back in 2000. Lots of cash to your average Joe, but probably well within the reach of Mr. George 'merchandising rights' Lucas. ®

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