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NASA Is Putting Rocket Raccoon and Groot on Their Official Emblem

When Marvel first announced they were making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, many fans we understandably skeptical. How would this work with general audiences? I mean, one of the characters is a talking raccoon and another is a giant tree.  It seemed pretty far fetched that this property would connected with people beyond your diehard Marvel zombie.

As it turns out, the movie was huge. Insanely huge. Guardians of the Galaxy’s cast of bizarre characters became household names and crazy popular. They appeared on T-shirts, lunch boxes, backpacks, posters, and everything in between. There seemed to be no end to how big the Guardians of the Galaxy could get. In fact, If you need to know just how popular these guys have become, look no further than director James Gunn’s Twitter account.

Yeah, freakin’ NASA is using Rocket Raccoon and Groot on their new mission patches, as Gunn tweeted from SDCC. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is hoping that putting these characters one their uniforms will help draw eyes to the International Space Station and to their mission in general. Designed by artist Juan Doe, the patch is pretty classy looking and even features the characters’ names. As a a lifelong Marvel fan, it’s so awesome to see characters I grew up loving being used to promote serious science.

It’s a great idea, really. NASA is drawing attention to some of their less exciting missions—when was that last time somebody landed something on a comet?!—and they’re having fun doing it. It keeps the important work of the International Space Station on the public’s mind and creates one hell of a cool collectible. Seriously, NASA, I need one of these.

It’s pretty hilarious that they went with these two characters, as opposed to a scientist like Reed Richard, for instance. Maybe they were just concerned that would jinx the mission and lead to one of the astronauts becoming a giant, orange rock monster? Whatever the case, these things are amazing. Kudos, NASA.

Featured Image: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space/Youtube

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