Marvel’s Groot and Rocket Raccoon Are Headed to Space With NASA


Because NASA is full of some delightful dorks, the space agency’s latest mission patch is going to feature two beloved Marvel comic universe characters: Rocket Raccoon and Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The two characters are front-and-center on the new patch for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).

In recent years, NASA has really ramped up its efforts to use pop-culture tie-ins to engage with the public. When “The Martian” – a movie about an astronaut getting stuck on Mars – came out in 2015, NASA’s social media team worked relentlessly to tie its “#JourneytoMars” campaign to the successful film’s marketing. It’s likely that the agency oversold its ability to actually make it to Mars, but since NASA won’t get more funding without public support, you can’t blame it for trying to get us amped for a trip that might not happen anytime soon. The agency has also done recent campaigns with Lego and made valiant efforts to jump on the “Star Wars” sequel bandwagon. It also drilled two stars of the newest “Star Trek” movie on space trivia, because you really don’t need to pick one or the other.

“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,” CASIS Director of Operations and Educational Opportunities Ken Shields said in a statement. “There are very few brands in the world who have as large an impact as Marvel, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this project and look forward to Rocket and Groot inspiring a new generation of researchers interested in the space station.”

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SOURCE: Chicago Tribune; The Washington Post, Rachel Feltman