NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced today that NASA is officially bringing back its iconic 1970s “worm” logo for the upcoming launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Crew Dragon. on Twitter. The organization seeks to “mark the return of human spaceflight on American rockets from American soil.”
The worm logo was introduced in 1975 by the design firm Danne & Blackburn as part of an effort to “upgrade” the space agency’s graphics from the original “meatball” logo that NASA used since 1959. The logo is virtually synonymous with this era of space flight, adorning the Hubble telescope and the original test flight shuttle, Enterprise. But despite the sleek, modern design, the worm logo was officially removed in 1992 in favor of a return to the original meatball logo, which is still used today by NASA. (Although the worm logo persisted for merchandising opportunities.)
The return of the worm at the next Crew Dragon launch – tentatively scheduled for May – will mark a big comeback for the iconic logo, which has not been in space in an official capacity for decades.
And while the meatball logo will always remain the main NASA logo, the future looks bright for the worm. NASA promises “there is a good chance that you will see the logo officially presented on this mission and in the future,” although the agency still knows where and when it will be presented.