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Apr 3, 2020

NASA Worm on Falcon 9 but do you know the story behind it?

Posted by in categories: government, space
NASA Worm logo on a Falcon 9

Yes, that’s right. The classic NASA “worm” logo is back! An image of the revived NASA worm logo was released on Twitter by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as well as press release on the NASA.gov website.

NASA explained that original NASA insignia is an iconic symbol widely recognized in the world. The NASA “meatball” logo as many know it by represented patriotic American colors. A red chevron wing piercing a blue sphere(Planet) with white stars, and an spacecraft orbiting. This “meatball” logo was not easy to reproduce with 1970’s technology so the Federal Design Improvement Program introduced in 1975 a new logo, the “worm.”

Some History about the logo

By the beginning of World War I, the United States lagged behind Europe in airplane technology. On March 3, 1915, Congress founded NACA as an independent government agency in response to the perception that the United States was falling behind in aeronautical technology. NACA would report directly to the President with the purpose to catch up. But technology had evolved, and once again the US was falling behind in technology. Russia launched Sputnik. The space race was being lost.

NACA logo
US NACA logo. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)

Following the launch of Sputnik, the United States created NASA to catch up in the space race and pull ahead. In order to help spur on a wave of national enthusiasm in support of the nation’s aeronautical, a logo would be needed. The new agency set out to design a new logo and came up with various options for consideration.

Competing Sketches Center designs for the NASA seal. The winning design was submitted by James Modarelli and his Lewis team. The design actually incorrectly showed an upside-down attitude of the wing element. (NASA Headquarters Historical Reference Collection (HRC), file number 4540)

The red emblem contained on the NASA logo, has erroneously been referred to as a “slash,” “vector,” “airfoil,” “hypersonic wing design,” and even as an “alternate shape of the constellation
Andromeda.” It was based on a wooden model for an arrow-wing design.

Part of the Inspiration for the NASA logo came from a wooden Langley display model showing the radical twist and camber of a supersonic arrow-wing design. Part of the features of the design were inverted in the first seal design. (Credit NASA/NACA L-00502)

The official NASA seal was submitted with the “Meatball” .….

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