NASA 'worm' logo crawls onto Artemis 2 moon rockets (video)

A new video shows NASA's "worm" crawling on the side of a rocket.

Engineers recently sprayed the iconic NASA "worm" logo on two solid rocket boosters for Artemis 2, which will be the first human moon mission in more than 50 years. The agency video shows the process in action: the outline of the curvy "NASA" lettering rapidly filling up with red as technicians carefully color in the lines.

The two boosters will support the Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket that will send four astronauts around the moon no earlier than September 2025. Each letter of the worm is nearly 7 feet (2 meters) high, and the logo is roughly 25 feet (7.5 m) from end to end, according to a recent NASA statement.  

Related: NASA brings back retro 'worm' logo for upcoming Artemis 2 moon mission (photos)

Engineers spray the NASA "worm logo" on an Artemis 2 solid rocket booster at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Image credit: NASA)

Artemis 2 is slated to launch NASA commander Reid Wiseman, NASA pilot Victor Glover (who will become the first Black person to leave low Earth orbit, or LEO), NASA mission specialist Christina Koch (the first woman to go beyond LEO) and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen (the first non-American). 

The launch dates for Artemis 2 and the moon-landing effort Artemis 3 were delayed in January due to numerous technical reasons. But development continues on the two missions, as well as training for Artemis 2. Artemis 3 will touch down on the lunar surface no earlier than 2026, pending readiness of spacesuits and SpaceX's Starship lander.

The NASA "worm" logo being painted on the side of an Artemis 2 solid rocket booster, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Jan. 30, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/Glenn Benson)

NASA revived the worm logo — first used in 1975 — for limited use in 2020, according to partner collectSPACE. More commonly, NASA uses its "meatball" logo, a 1959 image brought out of retirement by the agency in 1992 to invoke the "glory days" of Apollo, according to agency materials.

You can also spot the worm upon the Artemis 2 Orion spacecraft that will house the four astronauts during their moon mission.

The Orion spacecraft for Artemis 2, including the NASA worm logo, at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Image credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak)

Artemis 2 and 3 are both part of the larger Artemis program that aims to take astronauts to the moon's south pole and to build a permanent settlement there, where water ice can supply life support, fuel and other mission needs.

NASA is leading a coalition of nations under the Artemis Accords. Some of those countries, like Canada and certain member states of the European Space Agency, are directly contributing hardware in exchange for moon mission opportunities. Other nations have signed on under the second aim of the accords, which is to agree to norms of peaceful space exploration led by the United States.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon:

  • Ship Of Fools
    Admin said:
    The NASA worm logo is wriggling its way onto solid rocket boosters that will help launch the four-astronaut Artemis 2 moon mission in 2025.

    NASA 'worm' logo crawls onto Artemis 2 moon rockets (video) : Read more
    Best logo ever. From a time when a logo used to mean something!