Just like many organizations, the style and logos can change over time. You are probably most familiar with our “meatball” logo. No, unfortunately this does not refer to the delicious food. This logo (below) is our most popular symbol, and dates back to 1959.
But, we’ve also had other insignia that represented our organization throughout the years.
The “worm” logo (below) was used by the agency from 1975 until 1992. The organization wanted to create a more “modern” logo, which resulted in the unique type style of the “worm” logo.
Even though this logo was retired in 1992, the Graphics Standards Manual is still available online HERE.
You can also read up about the emblems, logos and insignia used by NASA throughout the years in a new e-Book available for free HERE.
“I’d been doing nothing but drinking for months on end, so I was getting pretty despondent. Then one day, a guy walked by with a hand truck, and dropped off two big boxes of books for anyone to take. I decided to set up a bookstand. I got a folding table, and three milk cartons, and set up right across the street. Pretty soon, more people were bringing me books, and I would sell them for $1 apiece. I had a pretty cool selection. I even had books from the 1800’s. But I sold them all for just $1. I called my business The Book Worm. I had a logo and everything—a little worm with reading glasses. I didn’t make much money. Just enough for food and some drinks, but it increased my self-esteem 10,000 percent. I never thought I’d be running my own business. I was drinking less and everything. But somebody took my folding table, so I’m out of business until I can find a new one. It sounds kind of ridiculous, but the whole business hinges on a folding table.”
Today [25 November], the first 3D-printed object created in space was completed by Butch Wilmore. The flight engineer helped install the device on November 17. The panel will be attached to an access panel on the front of the printer.
And for those of you wondering, yes, that’s the NASA worm logo you see!
The stunningly minimal, futuristic ‘worm’ logo invented in the 70s for the US Federal Design Improvement Program was changed out for the 1959 'meatball’ logo in 1992. This was possibly in an effort to “recapture the magic” after the tragic Challenger crash, but it definitely ensured that the coolest NASA logo ever was confined to the 70s and 80s right alongside all the best retro-futuristic space plans.