I love the NASA "worm" logo, but they retired it in 1992. Now an article on CollectSpace claims that the worm is officially authorized again:

"The worm is back!" NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Thursday. "When the SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying NASA astronauts aboard Crew Dragon, it will sport the iconic symbol to mark the return of human spaceflight on American rockets from American soil."

Is the worm really back? Or is this just some cruel April Fools joke?

NASA worm logo

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Even I love the logo! It looks the most futuristic, in fact. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 6:21
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ This logo reminds me of old Lego sets $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 8:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ NΛSΛ (nλsλ) is back... $\endgroup$
    – Ruslan
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ does Betteridge's Law apply to this headline? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


I copied some of the lines from Ars Technica's NASA brings back its iconic “worm” logo to mark return of human spaceflight and The Verge's NASA brings back its iconic ‘worm’ logo for upcoming Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch. Most of all NASA has also posted The Worm is Back!

NASA originally planned to announce that it was bringing its iconic “worm” logo back on Wednesday, but the agency was afraid people would take it as an April Fools' Day joke.

Happily, it most certainly is not. The worm has officially returned, and that's no joke. Your attached link also confirmed that the worm is really back.

The space agency said the retro-looking logo will be stamped on the side of the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station as part of SpaceX's Demo-2 flight, presently scheduled for mid to late May. NASA says there’s a good chance you'll see the logo featured in other missions, too.

The change was driven by the space agency's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, who told Ars he is a “huge fan” of the worm symbol. Now, apparently, the space agency will use both logos going forward. NASA will continue to employ the meatball as its primary symbol, but the agency says it is assessing how and where the worm will be used.

Worm logo on Falcon-9 posted by Jim Bridenstine

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Though really, as April Fools jokes go, "We're bringing back our old logo" would be a pretty lame one. It's too mundane not to be real. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 13:25
  • 18
    $\begingroup$ April Fools this year was very tame. $\endgroup$
    – Robyn
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 14:26
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @Robyn, I don't think much of the world is in a particularly "jokey" mood right now given everything going on $\endgroup$
    – Bitsplease
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 21:56
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Bitsplease is right. Even Google cancelled their annual prank. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 19:36
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @ShawnV.Wilson It's retro-retro :) (I guess maybe they'll only use this logo on their retrorockets?) $\endgroup$
    – Dai
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 0:48

This surprises me, too. I was an engineer who worked for three years in the STS program during the 1980s. As someone who watched Challenger disintegrate while at work in a NASA facility, the retirement of the worm represented closure for an era of extended poor decision making.

Now it's back. I love NASA and have to acknowledge a lot of good was accomplished in the "worm years", on both manned and unmanned programs. This will be my new attitude.

Welcome back, Worm.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This answer provides context. Why is it that the worm logo's appearance sparks questions about its return? For the reason mentioned in this answer. $\endgroup$
    – dotancohen
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 16:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It was your youth! Maybe from so many decades in the future, things look better than they really were? I did not see the NASA from internal eyes, but I believe, they had only the usual "big company syndrome". And the ultimate cause of the space shuttle catastrophes was the lack of funding. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 18:32
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I would like to point out that I had no idea that this negative association existed until I used the logo in an internal presentation at work, and basically got chewed out for it. It's not something I ever hear discussed outside of work, but there's a very real strongly negative association with the logo. I think this is a very relevant detail in answering why this is big news. $\endgroup$
    – Aaron
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 19:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ When I worked at the Michoud Assembly Facility, the facilities folks told me MSFC resisted instructions from HQ to swap the "meatball" for the "worm", partly because it's huge and would have been costly to replace. Meatball remains in place, to this day. The building on the right was the Vertical Assembly Building for the Saturn V Stage 1. The newer tall box in the distance was built for the Orion program, again with the meatball. Hopefully NASA will not change this iconic signage. goo.gl/maps/R2sxe4nGEVRihdow6 $\endgroup$
    – wistlo
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 20:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.