NASA has temporarily brought back its red “worm” logo as they and SpaceX prepare for the first ever rocked launch with astronauts on board. The red logo, dubbed the “worm” by space aficionados for its smoothy rounded font, was discontinued in the 1990s and was replaced by the now more well-known “meatball,” which features a blue circle and a red swoosh.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was asked about the logo’s return by Robert Pearlman of CollectSpace.com during a press conference on Tuesday. Mr.Bridenstine said,”I like both the logos and had heard from space enthusiasts that they miss the old one.”
Fans of the worm have long waited for its return, he also added,”I personally heard from a lot of people that I should bring it back. The NASA style guide is very clear, the worm no longer exists, but I write the style guide. So I made a determination that for this particular mission, on this particular day, we were going to bring back the worm, so we did.”
Space enthusiasts are at odds over the logos, with people failing to pick a side, Bridenstine decided to have SpaceX use both the logos.
A Historic Launch to Space
The mission called, “Demo-2” will launch NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. The launch will send the two men to orbit aboard Crew Dragon spaceship, which will attempt to catch up to and dock with the International Space Station for a 110-day stay.
It will not only represent the first mission with people on board for SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk about 18 years ago, but also the first American crewed launch since NASA retired its space shuttle program in July 2011.
SpaceX and NASA have also put both logos on Model X cars built by Tesla, yet another company owned by Elon Musk himself, that will ferry the two astronauts to the launchpad.
NASA posted a statement to its website about the logo, “The agency is still assessing how and where (the worm logo) will be used, exactly, but there’s a good chance you’ll see the logo featured in other official ways on this mission and in the future.” And for devotees of the meatball design, NASA wrote, “Don’t worry, the meatball will remain NASA’s primary symbol.”
Behnken and Hurley are scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday. If poor weather interferes with the launch, SpaceX and NASA can try again on Saturday at 3:22 p.m ET or 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Steve Lopez is the Editorial Page Editor for News Raise. He covers Health. He has won more than a dozen national journalism awards for his reporting and column writing at seven newspapers and four news magazines.