Many spacecraft have been decorated or embellished with logos, slogans, names of people or research groups, or small stowaway items. Does NASA have a term for this practice?


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NASA's Perseverance Mars rover isn't just shuttling sophisticated science instruments and tubes to be filled with Earth-bound rock samples. It's carrying symbols, mottos, and objects that range from practical to playful - everything from meteorite fragments to chips carrying the names of 10.9 million people.

The "extras" are part of a tradition that harks back to the early space age and is now called "festooning" in NASA lingo. A plaque aboard Pioneer 10 and 11 displays a man and a woman for distant spacefarers who might find the spacecraft. The Golden Record aboard Voyager 1 and 2 serves a similar purpose. Metal from the wreckage of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was installed on the rovers Opportunity and Spirit, while Spirit also carried a memorial to the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia.


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    $\begingroup$ And if you've ever been festooned, you know how painful that came be. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ Would this include the livery they put on aircraft---all the colors they paint the body in? $\endgroup$
    – user39728
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @user39728: The source article does not say either way. It seems that the distinction is whether the designers consider a feature to be an "extra". $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 15:53

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