ISS Astronauts Tip Their Hats To Hitchhiker’s Guide With New Mission Poster

By David Wharton | Published

Unless you’re a die-hard NASA junkie, you might not know about the space agency’s tradition of getting a bit silly when it comes to the posters for their missions to the International Space Station. After all, astronauts are real-life heroes, so why not put that in perspective by letting them stand in for some fictional versions? So what movie would get the nod for ISS Expedition 42? Don’t panic — they’ve already got the perfect idea.


Yes, when your expedition number is also the answer to life, the universe, and everything, the cosmos pretty much demands a nod to the original source of that joke. And so, the men and women and women of ISS Expedition 42 figured out where their towels were, downed a few Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, and lined up to spoof the poster for the 2005 film version of Douglas Adams’ beloved Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which starred Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, and Sam Rockwell, just to name a few.

From left to right, the poster above features:

  • Terry Virts and Anton Shkaplerov as Zaphod Beeblebrox
  • Aleksandr Samokutyayev as Humma Kavula
  • Barry “Butch” Wilmore as Arthur Dent
  • Elena Serova as Ford Prefect
  • Samantha Cristoforetti as Trillian
  • Guest star: Robonaut, as Marvin the Paranoid Android

Flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti shared the poster on Google+, along with the message:

I am incredibly excited to share with you the Expedition 42 poster! If you like it half as much as I do, it will still be your favorite expedition poster ever.

Enjoy, don’t panic and always know where your towel is!

Here’s the original movie poster for comparison:


Who knows, maybe Expedition 42 will accidentally invent the Infinite Improbability Drive while they’re up there and get us off this rock before the Vogons show up. In the meantime, stick this fish in your ear, and check out some of the posters for earlier ISS missions. Naturally, there’s a Star Trek reference in the mix…

Expedition 21 crew poster