“Worm” will fly to the Moon: The SLS rocket received a retro NASA logo

Employees of Exploration Ground Systems applied a red retro NASA logo to the side booster of the SLS rocket. In 2025, it will send people to the moon

NASA symbols: “meatball” and “worm”

The original emblem of the National Aerospace Administration was approved in 1958. It is a blue circle on which you can see a scattering of stars, a trace of a spacecraft moving in orbit, a red wing profile and the NASA inscription. Under this emblem, informally called the “meatball”, the agency carried out all its first space missions, including the Apollo program.

Evolution of NASA symbols

In the early 1970s, many American federal agencies decided to update their attributes, and NASA was no exception. With the help of the rebranding, the organization wanted to demonstrate the advent of the “modern” era of space exploration. There was also a practical side to this decision: the original logo was quite difficult to print.

The order for the development of a new logo was received by the New York studio Danne & Blackburn. In 1974, it introduced a minimalistic logo featuring a unique style of writing the word NASA. It quickly gained the nickname the “worm”. The new logo was used between 1975 and 1992, after which the organization reverted to the original logo. Since then, the “worm” could only be seen on some souvenirs. However, in 2020, NASA management decided to return it and use it as an additional logo in the most iconic missions. So, the “worm” decorated the Falcon 9, which launched the first crewed Crew Dragon ship, as well as the SLS rocket used in the Artemis I mission.

Retro NASA logo on a lunar rocket

NASA decided to continue this tradition and decorate the superheavy SLS rocket with a “worm”, which would send the Artemis II mission to the Moon in 2025. Within its framework, four astronauts will fly around the moon of our planet on a free return trajectory, after which they will return to Earth. This expedition will be the first flight beyond Earth orbit since 1972.

Application of the retro NASA logo on the SLS side booster. Source: NASA/Glenn Benson

The “worm” was applied to the side surface of one of the SLS solid-fuel boosters. It also decorated the adapter of the Orion spacecraft’s crew module, on which astronauts will travel to the Moon.

Earlier, we talked about how Curiosity found the Star Trek logo on the surface of Mars.

According to https://www.nasa.gov

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