This is the dorkiest and most wonderful thing that's ever happened: In honor of the significance of the number "42" in Douglas Adams's popular "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, the International Space Station's Expedition 42 crew has parodied a film poster for the franchise in their official group photo.
The franchise, which consists of five books, a British radio series (circa the 1970s), a BBC miniseries and a 2005 film, follows a hapless earthling named Arthur Dent in the wake of our planet's abrupt and casual obliteration.
Spoilers ahead: "42" is one of the first book's most iconic punchlines. An eons-long search for the meaning of life, the universe, and everything yields a simple answer -- 42 -- but no one ever knows what the question is.
The crew's official poster is modeled after a promotional poster for the 2005 film (movie parodies are the traditional choice -- but this is clearly the best one yet). They've also been given unofficial patches emblazoned with the words "don't panic," another shout-out to the series.
Nothing about this is not excellent. In the parlance of the series, these astronauts are some seriously hoopy froods.
The 42nd expedition crew will travel to the International Space Station in November, but three of the astronauts hitched an early ride on Soyuz on Thursday to join the 41st crew.