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NASA astronaut pays a sweet tribute to Peter Mayhew in space

The Chewbacca actor receives love from the crew of the International Space Station.

Nick Hague paid tribute to Peter Mayhew.
NASA/Nick Hague

Star Wars and NASA go together like R2-D2 and C3PO. All the way up in Earth orbit, astronauts on the International Space Station felt the loss of Peter Mayhew, the actor who brought Chewbacca to life. 

NASA astronaut Nick Hague posted his own tribute to Twitter on Wednesday acknowledging Mayhew's death in late April. 

Hague shared an image of Mayhew wearing his Chewbacca costume with the furry mask off. The black-and-white photo is framed by the multi-pane window of the ISS cupola. The blue of Earth shines from behind it. "Thank you Peter for inspiring generations of explorers," Hague wrote. 

Mayhew's official Twitter account is now managed by his family. The account responded to Hague, saying, "That's lovely."

Hague and some of his crewmates marked May the Fourth, the Star Wars day of celebration, by watching a Star Wars movie. He shared a peek at the famous opening crawl playing on a screen in the station.

Star Wars fans on Twitter pointed out how the cupola windows resemble a TIE fighter cockpit. Of course, Chewie was best known for his connection to the Millennium Falcon. 

Mayhew's contributions to culture extended far beyond the screen, as Hague's loving tribute shows. Chewbacca's heart reached all the way into space.