Social media spaces out for NASA and 'Star Wars'

Social Cues: Also trending on Twitter is a Florida man's alleged plot to blow up Target stores to cash in on cheap stock.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
3 min read

It's an out-of-this-world kind of Friday.

Social media has spend the morning focused on NASA's all-day live events leading up to a milestone launch for SpaceX on Saturday. There are also more rumors floating around social media about the next Star Wars film, including what might happen to Luke Skywalker.

Social Cues is our look at what is trending across Facebook and Twitter. Here's what people are talking about this Friday:

#NASASocial: NASA is hosting live events throughout the day to show off the science and technology behind Saturday's launch of SpaceX's 10th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The events include a Q&A from Kennedy Space Center director Robert Cabana and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. The launch is set for Saturday at about 7:01 a.m. PT/10:01 a.m. ET from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. #NASASocial is trending on Twitter as people interact with the space agency.

Target: Police have arrested a Florida man who allegedly made explosives in a plot to blow up Target stores so he could cash in on cheap stock. According to the Department of Justice, Mark Charles Barnett, 48, offered an undercover agent $10,000 to plant at least 10 explosives hidden in food packaging in Targets from Florida to New York. Barnett wanted Target's stock to drop from the rash of explosions, which would let him buy cheap stock and then make a fortune once it bounced back, the DOJ said. The alleged scheme is trending on Twitter.

The Last Jedi: Star Wars fans are rejoicing over another hint about the next segment of the space saga. While rumors swirled that Luke Skywalker would be killed off, given that the eighth Star Wars film is called "The Last Jedi," diehard fans on Twitter noticed that in translation, other languages are using the plural form of jedi, implying that the title references more than one person. Separately, Star Wars actor John Boyega tweeted out a teaser image showing c-star Daisy Ridley holding a lightsaber in the next film.

Congressional Black Caucus: President Donald Trump created quite a few notable moments in his press conference Thursday, but it was his answer to the final question that grabbed the most attention on Facebook. After journalist April Ryan asked Trump if he was going to include the Congressional Black Caucus in the planning for his inner-city agenda, the president asked Ryan, who is black, to set up the meeting. "Are they friends of yours?" Trump asked Ryan. The jarring moment sent people to Facebook, reacting in frustration. The Congressional Black Caucus responded on Twitter and stated that Trump has been ignoring it.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: The locale is trending on Facebook after FBI agents arrested a 29-year-old man who allegedly bought a gun to use in an attack "in the spirit of Dylann Roof." Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell reportedly told undercover agents he was inspired by Roof's 2015 attack in Charleston that killed nine black church-goers. Roof received the death penalty in January for the slaughter. McDowell has had connections with white supremacist groups and served a prison sentence for threatening a synagogue on Facebook, according to the Department of Justice.

Be sure to check out Social Cues' weekly roundup called T.GIF. It will pop up every Friday on CNET's Snapchat and Instagram accounts. Add us on Instagram at @CNET or on Snapchat at @CNETsnaps. Our social accounts also feature CNET Update daily and Mailbox Mondays. Join us!