Infinite Wishes: ♾️🧞‍♀️✨

Is a weblog by Emma Humphries

Retro-futurism returns to space

03 Apr 2020

The 1976 NASA 'Worm' logo

Source: Wikimedia commons

NASA and SpaceX plan to launch a Falcon 9 carrying two people to the International Space Station in May of 2020, the first time a crew’s flown from the US in several years.

The agency made a point of putting the 1976 ‘worm’ logo on the booster. NASA stopped using the ‘worm’ logo in 1992 and reverted back to the 1950’s ‘meatball’ logo.

The NASA article features a montage of the ‘worm’ logo in use during the 1980’s: On Mae Jemison’s (the first Black woman in space) pressure suit, on an EVA suit, the Hubble Telescope, on a shirt worn by Guy Bluford (one of the first Black men in space) and Sally Ride (the first queer person in space.)

A montage of the 1976 logo in use during the 1980's: On Mae Jemison's (the first Black woman in space) pressure suit, on an EVA suit, the Hubble Telescope, on a shirt worn by Guy Bluford (one of the first Black men in space) and Sally Ride (the first queer person in space.)

Source: NASA

I remember when NASA switched back to the meatball that it was considered the more “muscular” and “heroic” icon. But here, NASA’s linking the 1976 logo to diversity. And the 1976 logo is a favorite of designers who put it on accessories and clothing. And you can buy a facsimile edition of the space agency’s 1976 graphics design manual (Ethan, that’s a design system that’ll stub your toe if you drop it.)

The original and 1976 NASA logos, as enamel pins, next to a pin with the mascot of the 75th World Science Fiction Convention, 'Major Ursa'