For its 42nd mission, Nasa has produced a poster spoofing The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. In the novel by Douglas Adams, 42 is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.

Nasa space station expedition posters

Nasa's poster, based on the one used for the film starring Martin Freeman, features Terry Virts and Anton Shkaplerov as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Aleksandr Samokutyayev as Humma Kavula, Barry "Butch" Wilmore as Arthur Dent, Elena Serova as Ford Prefect, and Samantha Cristoforetti as Trillian.

Marvin the Paranoid Android is played by Robonaut – Nasa's humanoid robotic development project.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy poster
Touchstone Pictures

The first half of the Expedition crew (Wilmore, Serova, and Samoukutyaev) are scheduled to blast off from Kazakhstan on 25 September, with Shkaplerov, Virts, and Cristoforetti joining them in late November.

Nasa has a long tradition of producing humorous posters to publicise its launches. Previous designs have spoofed films such as Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matrix, and Star Trek.