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(Courtesy Sean Collins, Robert Markowitz (photographer) and NASA)

Poster Boys (and Girls)

Astronauts show a lighter side in their unofficial crew posters

Harry Potter: STS-124

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(Sean Collins, Robert Markowitz (photographer), and NASA)

For the crew of STS-124 (Discovery, May 2008), Collins chose to parody Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He had to change the cast order slightly: “[Astronaut] Karen Nyberg was originally on the right, like Hermione Granger, but her hair just wouldn’t blow right. I held a fan on it, but because of the way her part was, it just kept covering her face. So I had to switch her.” Commander Mark Kelly “really got into it. He was doing the Harry Potter pose,” says Collins.

The artist’s eye for detail extends even to the fonts used on the posters: “The font was just a free font that I downloaded, but it was similar to the Harry Potter font. We are under the rules of the Communications Materials Review board at headquarters, and I’m the bad boy, always going against [the rules],” he explains. “Now they’re used to me. ‘Here’s Sean again, using a weird font.’”

From left to right: Karen Nyberg, Ron Garan, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, Mark Kelly, Greg Chamitoff, Mike Fossum, and Ken Ham.

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