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Marvel’s Groot and Rocket Raccoon To Be Put On NASA’s New Mission Patch

Jul 25, 2016 04:10 AM EDT
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Two of Marvel's popular space heroes will appear on an official NASA patch.

Groot and Rocket Raccoon, two of the most loved space cadets from Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' will be featured on a NASA mission patch.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), an organization that manages the U.S. National Laboratory for NASA, has teamed up with Marvel Custom Solutions to put the two characters on a mission patch that will represent all payloads heading to the national laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS). The announcement was made during the San Diego Comic-Con on July 22.

"A patch is a really cool idea, and to utilize a Marvel character on a patch for the space station for CASIS, that's a very cool project," Darren Sanchez, project manager for Marvel Custom Solutions, said in a CASIS YouTube video.

With the vast collection of characters to choose from in the Marvel Universe, the scientists came down with Groot and Rocket Raccoon because the two are themselves space warriors and have had more experience in space of all the characters.

"These are characters who have a bit of a space background to begin with. So both of those characters already embody some of the characteristics associated with what's happening on the space station," Patrick O'Neill, CASIS/ISS National Laboratory manager for marketing and communications, said in the video interview.

"It's exciting for us because this is hopefully the beginning of something that goes beyond just the mission patch. A little bit later this year we hope to unveil an upcoming STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics], initiative that is going to be focused on these particular characters," O'Neill added.

The patch was designed by Juan Doe, who has already designed several covers for Marvel.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn took to Twitter to express his delight about the two Marvel heroes' upcoming space mission.

"So cool. NASA Oasis has paired with Marvel and is using Rocket & Groot as an official emblem for the mission to Mars," he wrote.

The first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie grossed $773 million worldwide in 2014. The sequel will hit theaters in May 2017.

According to a press release, CASIS hopes that the patch will put more eyes on the ISS and inspire a new generation of researchers interested in the space station.

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