When Space X’s Crew Dragon craft carries its first complement of astronauts to the International Space Station later this year, it will do so with NASA’s iconic “worm” logo emblazoned on the side of its Falcon 9 rocket. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine shared the news over Twitter, saying the symbol will mark the “return of human spaceflight on American rockets from American soil.”
The worm is back! When the @SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying @NASA_Astronauts aboard #CrewDragon, it will sport the iconic symbol to mark the return of human spaceflight on American rockets from American soil. More: https://t.co/jQQv5ZcTY0 #TheWormIsBack pic.twitter.com/9Ltk1nMa8j
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 2, 2020
With the help of design firm Danne & Blackburn, NASA introduced the worm in 1975 as a way to update its existing design language. At the time, the agency’s original 1950s “meatball” logo was difficult to reproduce and print. It also had political connotations that some people felt weren’t appropriate for the new, more collaborative spaceflight era of the mid-1970s. The logo adorned some of NASA’s most well-known craft from the period, including the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Even President Reagan was a fan, praising the design for its simplicity in 1984.