Far Out! NASA Announced a Stellar Logo to Commemorate Its Upcoming 60th Anniversary
With “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” proving a force at the box office, the last three weeks have registered as an earth-shattering span for science fiction fans. For those among that gregarious group who also find themselves over the moon when talking about actual celestial bodies, yesterday must have felt as if all the stars had aligned in their favor. Ahead of the Oct. 1 celebration of its 60th anniversary, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revealed a stellar logo whose contents, it contends, look to encapsulate its “enduring quest for answers to age-old questions about the workings and evolution of our planet, our solar system and the universe.”
The fall commemoration figures to offer a bit of levity to the independent agency often tasked to take on amazingly complex jobs and will again see the entity marking a commendable milestone with a visually appealing work. With this logo by graphic artist Matthew Skeins, NASA, ever the innovator, has definitely eclipsed the emblems that marked its 25th, 40th and 50th birthdays. In announcing the symbol’s unveiling, the executive branch unit, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower created through the July 29, 1958 passing of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, conveyed pride in its annals by loading a press release with symbolic explanations of its hire’s handiwork.
Anyone who looks to the heavens in awe will undoubtedly glow when inspecting the logo, particularly the vectors, with the blue one representing “NASA’s roots in aeronautics research and the societal impact of our first views of Earth as a solitary ‘blue marble’ in the vast blackness of space," and the red one reflecting its “ leadership of an innovative and sustainable exploration program that engages commercial and international partners; enables expansion of human presence to the Moon, Mars and throughout the solar system; and brings new knowledge and opportunities back to Earth.” Yes, that gave us goosebumps, too. However, to quote numerous game show announcers, that’s not all, as the item is also bound to prove uplifting thanks to the blue and white arc that NASA tabs as recalling the sunrise, “seen 16 times each day aboard an Earth-orbiting spacecraft,” and symbolizing “opportunity yet to come through exploration of the Moon, Mars and destinations far beyond.”
Being a budding science geek, I especially enjoyed the release’s nod to Isaac Newton’s “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” which the logo pulls off by placing NASA and 60 “atop the continental United States, the curvature of Earth, and the light of an approaching dawn,” and which it explains by lauding the work of predecessors, such as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Thanks to an impressive history and an ambitious future, NASA, just like any other business, needed an eye-catching way to draw attention to its successes so as to compel support for its next set of goals. With the output from Skeins, NASA, whose company in marking a 60th anniversary in 2018 includes LEGO and the Grammy Awards, definitely finds itself in a different orbit.