NASA's '70s-chic worm logo will ride around the moon on Artemis I mission

Cue up the disco music. We're going back to the moon in style.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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The worm logo is back in action for NASA's Artemis I moon mission.


The Bee Gees were hitmakers and bell bottoms were the height of fashion when NASA introduced its iconic "worm" logo in 1975. The space agency is now looking to its past to decorate the rockets and spacecraft of its future.

NASA announced Wednesday that the rocket and Orion capsule destined for its Artemis I moon mission have been decked out with the classic red worm, a bold, highly stylized version of the agency's name.

The worm was retired in 1992, but emerged from the mothballs earlier this year to grace the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket used for the historic Demo-2 Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station. That mission was a success, so it makes sense to keep on riding the logo luck dragon for Artemis I. 

Artemis I is the first in a series of planned moon missions. The uncrewed Orion spacecraft will launch on an SLS rocket for a journey around our lunar neighbor. NASA is looking at a late 2021 launch for Artemis I as it aims to return humans to the moon in 2024.

NASA released a timelapse video of the painting process for an SLS booster segment. 

"After almost three decades, our famous logotype is back in action, and it is thrilling for all of us that worked on the original design to have it return in such an impressive way," said Richard Danne, one of the worm designers, in a NASA statement on Wednesday.  

NASA's current "meatball" logo, which consists of a blue circle with a red swoop and agency name in white, isn't going away. It will still be NASA's main squeeze. But the worm has made a comeback and will take its victory lap all the way around the moon.

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