NASA – abbreviation for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is a federal agency that is in charge of aerospace research, aeronautics, and the civilian space program. Came into being in 1958, where it was established to succeed the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Since its inception, NASA has had three logos; the NASA insignia (meatball, the NASA logotype (the worm), and the NASA seal.
Of importance is to first understand the three logos well and their usage before you dive deeper into them. So what is the NASA insignia(meatball)? This was NASA’S first badge and one of the most impressive space logos. The emblem shows a powerful, full of energy Chevron wing piercing through a white circle that stands for the earth, white stars, and a rocket going around. Due to the poor technology available back in the 1970s, this was quite hard to replicate and also print and was therefore not used as the official visual signature.
Next on the line is the NASA worm and what it represents. It’s put down as a clear design that writes the letters N A S A in the color red. The worm is more simple in its design and a more innovative way of presenting the agency. This is because the logo is easier to replicate and also print as there are no complex designs. The logo was Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn. It started being used from 1975 and then was stopped from official use on May 22nd in 1992.
The third logo is the NASA seal, in which the sphere was a representation of the planet, the stars space, the red chevron a wing representing aeronautics, and then the orbiting spacecraft going around the wing. NASA seal is used in more traditional and ceremonial circumstances for instance award presentations and press conferences.
The meatball design started being used again in 1992 after the worm logo design had retired from official use. Originally, the design was to show the agency’s capability to move the nation forward into new frontiers. In May 2020, the worm logo was reinstated as the secondary logo by Jim Bridenstine who is the NASA Administrator. The logo moved from being restricted to printing on t-shirts to now embellishing almost every spectacular surface that is in conjunction with the SpaceX’s Demo 2 mission.
At first, had been added to SpaceX’S Falcon 9 as the rocket was in preparation for launching and then it just grew and became branded across the missions other equipment. This is again on the support structures at NASA’S Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Serves as a mark to the start of a new era as the reemergence of the worm logo is to draw attention to the importance of the history-making American flight.
Before the official reinstatement of this logo, the current generation had already embraced it as retro cool, and NASA allowed it’s come-back naturally. In celebration of its return, a new book about the logotype showcases it in use. Danne says that this was a validation, of the sort of timeless approach they had brought to this as they commented on the worm’s resurrection at NASA.