As you can see below, it contains more than a few items not currently on the NASA roster such as lightsabers, Jedi robes and, lurking behind one of the astronauts, some kind of large black moon. Expedition 45 will need a lot of Force on its side. Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko (the bottom two figures on the right) blast off March 27; they will spend a full year as part of an ongoing experiment in how the human body reacts to zero gravity, which may help us prepare for future trips to other planets whenever we’re ready to book passage to the Alderaan system.
The space agency, previously known as a haven for Star Trek fans, showed itself to be pretty well versed in Star Wars lore Thursday when the official poster for International Space Station Expedition 45 was revealed.
That’s all well and good, but perhaps NASA should really keep its eye on first-time astronaut Kjell Lindgren, the guy at bottom left. Not only does he seem to be about to execute a Force push on the viewer, but he’s carrying a red lightsaber — which, as any Star Wars nerd knows, is exclusively used by evil Sith lords. (CollectSpace reports that the poster’s design was Lindgren’s idea.)
This is not the first time the ISS has seen Star Wars references. On November 3, John Williams’ Star Wars theme awoke Shuttle mission STS-120, then in its twelfth day aboard the space station — and in possession of one of the prop lightsabers used in the George Lucas movies.
That all gave Mission Specialist Scott Parazynski the perfect opening to relay this message to his son Luke, back on Earth: “I am your father. Use the Force, Luke.”
Meanwhile, NASA’s commander in chief is something of a Jedi himself — and we’re guessing President Obama will be just as thrilled with the mission poster as he was when he got to cross lightsabers with the U.S. Olympic fencing team on the White House lawn. Read more…