Today is Towel Day, and it's not just people on Earth who are celebrating the legacy of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" author Douglas Adams. European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake unfurled a special towel of his own on the International Space Station to mark the occasion. The towel is embroidered with "Don't Panic," a popular saying from Adams' books.
The Royal Institution of Great Britain, a science education and research organization, sent the towel up with Peake into space as a thank-you gift for a lecture he participated in. A patch commemorating the lecture series is attached to the towel right next to the motto. Towel Day is becoming an annual tradition on the ISS. Last year, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti read an excerpt from the guide and wrung out towels in honor of Adams.
As "The Hitchhiker's Guide" instructs us, a towel is "about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." It can be used for warmth, as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat and to ward off noxious fumes. Plus, it has "immense psychological value." Peake is now perfectly prepared for his further adventures in space. It's too bad the astronauts on the ISS probably don't have the ingredients for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.