NASA Expedition 45 Crew Dons Jedi Robes For ‘Star Wars’ Inspired Poster

The poster depicts the two men who will form the space station's first year-long crew.

The crew of NASA’s expedition 45 will arrive at the International Space Station in September, but in the lead up to their mission, the team has donned Jedi robes for a Star Wars inspired poster celebrating their mission.

NASA revealed the poster on Thursday, February 12, and it proves the Force is indeed strong with this expedition. The crew of six astronauts and cosmonauts traded in their blue NASA flight suits for Jedi robes, posing with lightsabers for the poster. Gathered around the official mission logo, which looks suspiciously like a Star Destroyer, the group is flanked by their mission vehicles on either side. While a Russian Soyuz rocket launches into orbit next to the crew, a European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is depicted to their other side, sporting distinctive wings that bear a striking resemblance to an X-Wing fighter. The space station soars above its future crew, as the galaxy’s most feared battle station lurks in the shadows.

Entitled International Space Station Expedition XLV: The Science Continues, the poster depicts Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, who together comprise the station’s first year-long-mission crew. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian cosmonauts Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko, and Kimiya Yui with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency also appear in the Star Wars inspired poster, completing the Expedition 45 roster.

The idea for the poster has been attributed to Lindgren, who will make his first trip into space with Expedition 45. NASA’s graphic design team at the Johnson Space Center in Houston were responsible for creating the Star Wars tribute, digitally adding the lightsaber blades and various space vehicles. The poster is far from the first time NASA has paid tribute to Star Wars, however, as the prop lightsaber used by Mark Hamill in Return Of The Jedi flew on shuttle Discovery’s STS-120 mission to the station in 2007.

It is something of a tradition for NASA’s mission posters to pay tribute to movies and pop culture icons, with former expeditions choosing to feature Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron, The Beatles, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, among others. Expedition 42, currently aboard the space station, chose to interpret the movie poster for The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

NASA will bring Expedition 45 to its end in November, just one month before the highly anticipated release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

[Image: NASA via CollectSpace]