Image: YouTube screenshot

If there was any doubt in your heart that the people at NASA were a bunch of nerds, here’s the evidence that proves otherwise.


Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy made space operas exciting again, so what better way to honor its roots than to include two of its most popular characters on a mission patch?

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) announced Friday that Groot and Rocket the Raccoon will be featured on a mission patch that will represent all payloads that will head to the national laboratory on the International Space Station.


We got our first look at the patch from director James Gunn, who tweeted the announcement from San Diego Comic-Con.

The patch was designed by Juan Doe, who has previously designed covers for Marvel. According to a press release, CASIS hopes that the patch will put more eyes on the ISS and bring hope for what people can accomplish in the future.


“A major mission for us here at CASIS is to find unique and innovative ways to bring notoriety to the ISS National Laboratory and the research that is being conducted on our orbiting laboratory,” said CASIS Director of Operations and Educational Opportunities Ken Shields.

It’s also part of a secret mission that might help us get a Rocket and Groot of our very own.



“The reward for us [is that] we’ll actually have two characters go into space,” said Mitch Dane, director of custom publishing. Then he joked, “With a little luck, there’ll be a little cosmic radiation going on, they’ll come back alive.”

There are so many Marvel characters to choose from when it comes to space, so why Rocket and Groot? Check out the rest of the history behind the patch below and remember: scientists are nerds just like you.