I saw this photo online:

I was wondering if this photo is legit, or some Photoshop by Firefly fans. If it is legitimate, why do they have a copy of Firefly and Serenity on board the International Space Station?

  • 2
    I don't see how this can be on topic. The ISS is not science fiction, it's real. Maybe Firefly is sci-fi, but so what? If I want to know whether Yogi Berra read the Lensman novels or whether Kim Kardashian has seen Star Wars, are those on-topic questions?
    – user14111
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 4:00
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    @user14111 This seems to fall clearly into information of interest to fandom, as well as societal context of a work to me. Both of those are listed in the FAQ as on-topic.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 4:04
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    I think this would better fit on the Skeptics SE Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 11:22
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    "why do they have a copy of Firefly and Serenity" — Why wouldn't they?
    – jwodder
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 17:25
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    The real question is, how can he be holding the disc like that??? He's gonna get a big thumb print on it!
    – vynsane
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


They can. Firefly and Serenity DVDs are on the ISS

I don't know if they have actually been watched by people living on the ISS, but those photos are legit. The pictured astronaut, Steve Swanson, brought the DVDs with him to the ISS in June 2007 and they were added to the ISS library when he left.

As for the story behind the pictures, there were some browncoats (Firefly fans) working at NASA who got Steve to bring the DVDs with him. The whole story is recounted at breaking atmo.

The whole mission to deliver the DVDs to the ISS started in July 2006:

14 Jul 2006

Some of us Browncoats are working the current Shuttle and Station Mission and we got the Captain's quote about love uplinked to the ISS crew in tomorrow morning's daily summary. Below is the review copy of the daily summary. I dont know if I can get PAO to release the document, but if anyone wants to request it from I think the JSC PAO office the document is

UPLINK ID: 13-0709

USOS Daily Summary

GMT 196, Saturday, 15 July 2006

Docked Ops Ð FD 12

Quote: It's great to have three crewmembers aboard ISS again! Welcome to your new home, Thomas!

"You know what the first rule of flyin' is? Love. You can know all the math in the 'Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down... tells ya she's hurtin' before she keels... makes her a home."

-- Captain Malcolm Reynolds in "Serenity"

The rest of the saga is recounted at here's how it is.

Also, the DVDs are not the only Firefly gear on the ISS. Steve Swanson was back on the ISS in 2014 and sent out the first instagram from space:

Steve Swanson in Firefly Shirt

The shot of the t-shirt isn't too clear, but it's definitely featuring Serenity (the space ship of Firefly). Universe Today carried the story,

And now, time for some thrilling heroics. NASA astronaut Steve Swanson sent out the first Instagram from space last week wearing none other than a Firefly T-shirt. There’s something to be said about a space-faring guy evoking images of Captain Mal doing the impossible in the plucky Serenity spaceship, isn’t there?

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    I'm on the fence about the question being on-topic, but this is a good answer regardless.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 12:43

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