Watch ‘Star Wars' BB-8 Visit NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab [Video]
BB-8, the BB unit astromech droid from "Star Wars," has been in some adventures lately, including visits to Disneyland and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. His latest mission, however, was a visit to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
Along with tour guide Amy Pham, the "Star Wars" droid went around the NASA laboratory to take a little rolling tour of the facility. BB-8 even got to meet Maggie, the Earth-twin of the Mars rover Curiosity, as per Mashable.
BB-8 and Pham took a special look at the Mars Yard, a special test site that simulates the surface of the Red Planet. With them is Diana Trujillo, the mission lead of the Mars Curiosity Mission and a NASA Jet Propulsion engineer. sans-Trujillo is not the only woman in JPL; in fact, woman power is strong at NASA.
"There are a lot of women in JPL," she said in the video. "It's great to see there are a lot of girls interested in science and engineering."
However, there is still a discrepancy between genders in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce. According to the National Science Foundation, in 2014, women in engineering jobs only accounted for 13 percent of the workforce, while they are at 25 percent in computer and mathematical science-related jobs.
Still, woman power is evident at NASA. One, in particular, is Maggie, whom BB-8 was thrilled to meet. Maggie is a robot and a double of the Mars rover Curiosity. This Earth-twin is tasked to do dry-run operations that are done on Mars while staying here at JPL.
Similar to BB-8 in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," she rolls over sand dunes and goes on her own adventures herself. With her multiple cameras and 6-foot arm, she can pick up pieces of the surfaces, study and sift it for the scientists to further explore.
Trujillo said they discovered that Mars has the chemical position to hold life, holding a lot of promise for the future. BB-8 was all the while thrilled in his visit, especially after finding out that Maggie can even take a selfie.
Looks like this droid is exactly what we're looking for!