(FOX) — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) 1970s “worm” logo will head to orbit once more in 2020.
A cleaner and sleeker design than the original “meatball” logo in Pantone color number 179, the worm logo created by the firm of Danne & Blackburn was a symbol of the program in what was then considered a modern aerospace era.
NASA used the logo from its design in 1975 — as part of a cleaner visual redesign — till 1992 when the brand was retired in favor of the original late 1950s graphic.
Then NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin had decided that the best way to excite America about the future of NASA was to harken to the agency’s earlier days.
NASA has used James Modarelli’s meatball design — a blue circle filled with stars and a red swoosh — for the last 28 years.
However, the worm was not forgotten — especially by members of Generation X like current NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.
“I grew up in the ’80s,” he told The New York Times. “In the ’80s, the worm logo was the logo of NASA. I’ve always been kind of partial to it.”
Since 2017, the implementation of the worm logo has been permitted on T-shirts and other souvenirs worldwide.
Now, SpaceX will use the long-untouched design on the side of its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for a trip to the International Space Station.
Astronauts Douglas G. Hurley and Robert L. Behnken will make their journey in the second half of May. This will be the first launch to orbit from American soil since 2011.
The logo will be used to commemorate the trip.
Although NASA is still keeping the meatball as its primary icon, Mr. Bridenstine thought that “it would be a fitting tribute to that moment to bring back the worm as an inspiration to the nation.” He also believes the worm could find a wider role at NASA.
“We’re kind of working through it right now,” he admitted, noting that when Boeing’s Starliner launches it “would likely have the worm as well.”
“It seems the worm logo wasn’t really retired. It was just resting up for the next chapter of space exploration,” NASA’s press release noted.