Earlier this year, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that the agency’s new lunar program would be called Artemis. In Greek mythology, Artemis was the goddess of the hunt and the Moon and the twin sister of Apollo.
Just hours before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, NASA unveiled the new program’s visual identity and logo. The agency hopes to capture the same design principles that ensured the Apollo logo has stood the test of time as an iconic part of spaceflight history.
According to a July 19 statement from NASA, each part of the new logo conveys a specific meaning. In addition to including the “A” for the name Artemis, the letter is also in the shape of an arrowhead representing the goddess of the hunt and a call back to the “A” featured on the Apollo logo. The blue crescent represents the Earth and a bow again that along with the arrowhead cal attention to Artemis being the goddess of the hunt. The red line represents the trajectory that the Orion spacecraft will follow on its way to the moon. Finally, the grey circle represents the program’s destination, the Moon.
In addition to the more obvious representations featured in the logo, NASA has also revealed that the “A” extends past the Moon as a nod to the program’s goal of going beyond the Moon to Mars.
The Artemis program was created to launch the first woman and the next man to the Moon’s surface by 2024. However, with significant delays to the development of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft, as well as huge costs overruns, it is as yet unclear whether NASA will be able to achieve the ambitious goal. Additionally, with costs soaring and an administration change likely following next year’s election, the future of the Artemis program is very much in doubt.