Star Wars Lightsaber jets into space

The original Lightsaber prop from 'Return of the Jedi' has been taken in to space by US astronauts

It's enough to put a wry smile on the face of any Star Wars fan. Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery have taken Luke Skywalker's lightsaber into space with them as a souvenir.

Yes, it sounds wacky, but they really have taken the original prop, which was used by actor Mark Hamill in Return of the Jedi, into orbit with them.

A long time ago...

Taking oddball souvenirs into space is a tradition that has reportedly stayed with US astronauts since 1961, when Gus Grissom smuggled a "pocketful of dimes" onto the second U.S. spaceflight.

It apparently costs $10,000 per kilogram to send a shuttle into space so you've got to wonder how much cash all these 'souvenirs' have cost NASA and the American tax payers over the years.