NASA Applies ‘Worm’ Logo to Spacecrafts

MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2024


Crews at the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently painted a new “worm” logo on the Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters and Orion spacecraft’s crew module adapter for the upcoming Artemis II mission in 2025.

NASA explained that the logo was created in 1975 by the firm of Danne & Blackburn as a modern emblem for the agency and returned after nearly 30 years in 2020 for limited use on select missions and products.  

About the Paint Scheme

NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and prime contractor Jacobs reportedly started painting the red logotype onto the parts that form the Moon rocket’s two solid rocket boosters Jan. 22, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

To do so, NASA stated that crews used a laser projector to mark off the location of the logo with tape, then applied two coats of paint and added several coats of clear primer.

According to the release, each letter of the worm logo is around 6 feet and 10 inches in height, and the logo stretches 25 feet from end to end, or a little less than the length of one of the rocket’s booster motor segments.

The worm logo will reportedly be placed in a different spot than where it was on Artemis I. While it will still be located on each of the rocket’s 17 story boosters, the logo is now expected to be placed toward the front of the booster systems tunnel cover.

NASA added that the SLS boosters are currently the largest, most powerful solid propellant boosters ever flown and give over 75% of the thrust at launch.

Workers reportedly applied the worm logo and European Space Agency insignia on Jan. 28 on the spacecraft’s crew module adapter at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy.

The adapter reportedly holds electronic equipment for communications, power and control, and has an umbilical connector that bridges the electrical, data and fluid systems between the main modules.

The worm logo will reportedly be placed in a different spot than where it was on Artemis I. While it will still be located on each of the rocket’s 17 story boosters, the logo is expected to be placed toward the front of the booster systems tunnel cover. The SLS boosters are reportedly the largest, most powerful solid propellant boosters ever flown and give over 75% of the thrust at launch.

In October 2023, technicians reportedly put the crew and service modules together. According to the release, the crew module will now house four astronauts as they journey around the Moon and back to Earth on an approximately 10-day journey. The spacecraft’s service module, from the ESA, will reportedly supply the vehicle with electricity, propulsion, thermal control, air and water in space.

NASA added that it is working to land the first woman, first person of color and first international partner astronaut on the Moon through Artemis.

The SLS and the Orion spacecraft are reportedly integral to the agency’s deep space exploration plans, along with advanced spacesuits and rovers, the Gateway space station planned for orbit around the Moon and commercial human landing systems.

Artemis I Coating Tech

In 2022, NASA’s historic uncrewed test flight Artemis 1 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Artemis I was the first in a series of SLS missions and the first flight of the Orion MPVC spacecraft. According to reports, NASA’s SLS was the most powerful rocket ever built and was supposed to help the Administration to make scientific discoveries while extending the United States’ presence on the moon, allowing future endeavors to move farther and faster throughout the solar system.

After years of planning and a multitude of delays, Artemis I was first rolled out to the launch pad in March 2022 with hopes for a successful takeoff. Originally, the mission had been scheduled to launch in November 2021.

In addition to establishing a long-term presence on the moon and preparing for the continued exploration of Mars, the mission was the first step in NASA’s program to land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon later in the 2020s.

In its journey, Artemis I was to send the uncrewed Orion spacecraft to the moon and thousands of miles beyond it. The mission was slated to last several weeks and was to end with Orion splashing into the Pacific Ocean.

Following that mission, NASA planned to send a crew on Artemis II for a flyby of the moon in 2023. Artemis III was expected to return astronauts to the lunar surface in 2024 at the time.

Back in September 2020, NASA reported that teams had applied its historic logo—also referred to as the “worm”—on visible parts of the Artemis I rocket and spacecraft. Originally introduced in 1975, the worm logo was retired in 1992, but brought back for the latest slew of planned Artemis missions.

According to the Administration, coatings work for the worm logos was launched at the end of August 2020, when workers with NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and their contractor Jacobs started painting the iconic design across two of the SLS booster segments.

The crew reportedly used a laser projector to mask off the logo with tape. This was followed by the application of the logo inside the center’s Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility. In total, the logo received two coats of paint and several clear coating applications.

In addition to these applications, technicians were also noted to have cut additional emblems into flight-proof decals and adhered them to the underside of Orion’s crew module adapter (CMA).

The decals were affixed to the spacecraft by Frank Pelkey, a technician who previously painted the U.S. flag on the spacecraft that flew on NASA’s Exploration Flight Test-1.

After the boosters were transferred to the Vehicle Assembly Building for stacking, technicians planned to secure an access panel across the middle section of the boosters and paint it to complete the insignia.

In addition to coatings that were used for the worm logos, Acrymax coating systems were also used to protect the insulation on the solid rocket boosters (SRBs).

   

Tagged categories: Aerospace; Asia Pacific; Coating Application; Coating Materials; Coating Materials; Coatings; Color + Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Industrial coatings; Latin America; Maintenance coating work; NASA; North America; Paint; Paint application; Program/Project Management; Z-Continents

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