Points of primary interest aside, pop culture geeks and science geeks have a lot in common (let’s admit it: we all spent a lot of high school-era Saturday nights not on dates), so it’s nice to see that our interests can occasionally intersect. You see, whenever NASA sends an expedition to the International Space Station, they make a poster for said mission as part of their “Space Flight Awareness” program. On the early expeditions, these posters were pretty much what you’d expect: space-suited astronauts looking heroic, against a backdrop of a launching Space Shuttle or Planet Earth, with maybe a waving American flag thrown in for good measure. But about 16 missions in, they started getting inventive — making posters in the mold of famous movie advertising or aping pop culture imagery. Check out our favorites after the jump, and enjoy all of their posters to date (and some fascinating facts about the expeditions) on NASA’s site.
Well, c’mon. You had to know this one was gonna be in there. Expedition 21 landed on December 1, 2009. ESA Astronaut Frank De Winne, the first European commander of the International Space Station, and flight engineers Robert Thirsk, Roman Romanenko, Nicole Stott, Maxim Suraev, and Jeffrey Williams served as the Expedition 21 crew.
Expedition 23 landed on June 1, 2010. Commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineers Soichi Noguchi, Timothy J. (T.J.) Creamer, Alexander Skvortsov, Tracy Caldwell Dyson, and Mikhail Kornienko served aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 23 crew.
Expedition 26 landed on March 16, 2011. Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri, Oleg Skripochka, Catherine Coleman, Dmitry Kondratyev, and Paolo Nespoli served as the Expedition 26 crew aboard the International Space Station.
Expedition 16 landed on April 19, 2008. Commander Peggy A. Whitson, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko, and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor launched to the station on October 10, 2007. Clayton Anderson, Daniel M. Tani, Léopold Eyharts, and Garrett E. Reisman served as flight engineers on Expedition 16.
Expedition 30 began with the Soyuz TMA-02M undocking in November 2011. Three new crew members arrived shortly thereafter on Soyuz TMA-03M. Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin, Oleg Kononenko, André Kuipers, and Don Pettit served as the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station.
Expedition 31 began with the Soyuz TMA-22 undocking in April 2012. Three new crew members arrived shortly thereafter on Soyuz TMA-04M. Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers André Kuipers, Don Pettit, Joe Acaba, Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin served as the Expedition 31 crew aboard the International Space Station.
Expedition 18 landed on April 8, 2009. Commander E. Michael Fincke, Flight Engineer Yury V. Lonchakov and spaceflight participant Richard Garriott launched to the station on Oct. 12, 2008. Gregory E. Chamitoff, Sandra H. Magnus, and Koichi Wakata served as flight engineers during Expedition 18.
Expedition 29 began with the Soyuz TMA-21 undocking in September 2011. Three new crew members arrived in November on Soyuz TMA-22. Commander Michael Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa, Sergei Volkov, Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin, and Dan Burbank served as the Expedition 29 crew aboard the International Space Station.
Expedition 35 began with the Soyuz TMA-06M undocking on March 15, 2013. Three new crew members arrived two weeks later on the Soyuz TMA-08M. Chris Hadfield is commander; Tom Marshburn, Roman Romanenko, Chris Cassidy, Alexander Misurkin, and Pavel Vinogradov are flight engineers.
Expedition 27 began with the Soyuz TMA-01M undocking on March 16, 2011. Three new crew members arrived April 6, 2011 on Soyuz TMA-21. Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman, Paolo Nespoli, Alexander Samokutyaev, Andrey Borisienko, and Ron Garan served as Expedition 27 aboard the International Space Station.