September 13, 2007
— NASA unveiled the logo it will use to celebrate 50 years since it was founded as the United States' aeronautics and space administration.
The new logo was revealed by NASA deputy administrator Shana Dale at the WIRED Magazine NextFest technology fair in Los Angeles on Thursday (Sept. 13).
Created by the Virginia-based marketing communications firm Crabtree + Company, Inc. and selected by NASA from 120 logos that were solicited through a NASA competition, the 50th anniversary logo was designed to instill a sense of "wonder."
"We wanted to create an image that depicted NASA's future, our future, as one filled with promise," said Lucinda Crabtree, Crabtree + Co. president, in a statement. "These first 50 years clearly deserve to be celebrated, but they are only the beginning."
The design features the phrase "50 Years" set above the red, white and blue NASA insignia. The numbers, which overlap each other, are set against the photo of a galaxy with the zero stylized such that it appears to be eclipsing a star, much like when the Moon blocks out the Sun.
Founded in response to the Soviet Union's Oct. 4, 1957 launch of the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik, NASA was established in July 1958 when Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act. The civilian agency began operations on Oct. 1, 1958, absorbing the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), in addition to other government agencies.
NASA's 25th anniversary and 40th anniversary logos. (NASA)
The 50 year logo is not the first time that NASA has had a design created to represent its anniversary. Emblems were introduced for the 25th and 40th milestones, among others over the years.
In addition to the logo, NASA recently announced the first of its partners for its anniversary celebration — Discovery Communications will create and air programming in 2008 that highlights NASA's half-century of exploration.