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Towel Day greeting from the ISS

Jenny Winder, News Writer
May 25, 2015, 21:23 UTC

Sen—European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut (and hoopy frood) Samantha Cristoforetti has sent a message from the International Space Station celebrating Towel Day!

Towel Day, May 25, is an annual tribute to the life and work of the late Douglas Adams (1952-2001) best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. On this day fans from all over the world—and off it—proudly carry a towel in his honour.

As The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy advises: "A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have."

Cristoforetti, a fan of Douglas Adam's books, tweeted: "Oh, there’s a little #TowelDay surprise coming… stay tuned! #DontPanic," with a teaser image of herself bearing her towel and wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan "Don't Panic and carry a towel".

Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman in space, later shared the expedition's mission poster, with the crew dressed as characters from the book and tweeted: "Happy #TowelDay from Expedition 42, half in #space, half back on Earth… we’re froods who know where their towel is!"

She then went on to read an excerpt from the book from the European laboratory Columbus on the ISS.

Current expedition 43 crew members celebrating Towel Day aboard the ISS with Cristoforetti are: NASA astronauts Commander Terry Virts and Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko.

For details of every human who has been in space since the first spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, including who is in space now and their previous missions, check out Sen’s human spaceflight app.


Towel Day Poster from ISS Expedition 42 Crew. Image credit: NASA

Towel Day on the International Space Station. Credit: European Space Agency ESA