Culture: August 2020 Archives

Worm Watch

NASA's 'worm' logo lay dormant for 28 years. So why are people so obsessed with it?, Fast Company

"Fast-forward to 1992. As Danne tells it, the logo was retired by executive decision. The new NASA administrator at the time, Dan Goldin, allegedly didn't like the worm and wanted to bring back the meatball as the primary logo. According to Danne, it was quickly phased out. NASA confirmed it was an executive decision but didn't have any more details about Goldin's motivations."

LOST IN SPACE; Meatballs Devour Worms!!, New York Times Magazine (1999).

"For the past six years NASA has been trying to wipe out the tubular red logo (''the worm'') that has symbolized space exploration since 1975. The chief exterminator is Dan Goldin, NASA's administrator, who says that the original 1958 emblem (''the meatball'') better commemorates the program's mission. But wasting the worm, which has adorned everything from welcome mats to wind tunnels, is taking longer than Goldin would like. Keith Cowing, an ex-NASA payload manager who documents worm sightings on the NASA Watch Web site, raps Goldin's subordinates for obsessively hiding the worm from the boss. A NASA spokesman protests, saying the agency is worming itself -- harmlessly -- over time (old letterhead will be used up, etc.): ''If someone decides they better go and eradicate this, that or the other thing, it's not because of Goldin."


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