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Poster for Star Wars Episode VII? No, Just a Space Station Crew

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This isn't the new Star Wars movie you're looking for. But it is the official poster for the International Space Station's Expedition 45 crew.

The six Jedi hail from the U.S., Russia and Japan, and the Star Wars theme is only one of many Hollywood and show-biz spoofs NASA has done. From Star Trek and Harry Potter to "Gangnam Style" and "All About That Bass," the agency isn't shy about making pop culture references. Expedition 42, appropriately, modeled its poster after "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Douglas Adams' classic sci-fi saga. All those posters are available for you to peruse here.

Expedition 45, or rather "Expedition XLV: The Science Continues," will feature the first yearlong residence by a crew on the International Space Station, though that won't match the record set by Valery Polyakov, the cosmonaut who spent 438 days aboard Russia's Mir space station in 1994-1995.

On the poster are, clockwise from top left: Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, and Kimiya Yui from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. (CollectSpace says the idea for the poster was reportedly Lindgren's.)

Kelly and Kornienko will be heading to the space station in March to begin their year in orbit. Kononenko, Lindgren and Yui will come aboard in May. And Expedition 45 officially starts in September when Volkov rounds out the Jedi Council.

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—Devin Coldewey

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