More specifically, Groot and Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy are headed to the ISS.
Actual Marvel comic book characters are going to space.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot of “Guardians of the Galaxy” have been emblazoned on the mission patch representing the science payloads launching in 2016 to the U.S. National Laboratory on board the International Space Station.
“We’re really excited to take this on because we really like the whole idea of doing something for the space station,” said Darren Sanchez, a Marvel Custom Solutions project manager and editor, as quoted by multiple media outlets. “The patch is a really cool idea and to utilize a Marvel character for the space station for CASIS, that’s a very cool project.”
“A major mission for us here at CASIS is to find unique and innovative ways to bring notoriety to the International Space Station National Laboratory and the research that is being conducted,” said Ken Shields, CASIS’s operations and educational opportunities director, as saying. “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.”
CASIS refers to the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the U.S. National Lab under a contract with NASA. The announcement of te patch was made at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday.
The red, white and blue patch depicts Rocket sitting on the shoulder of Groot and looking up at he space station. Marvel Comics artist Juan Doe drew the patch.
Meanwhile, the crew aboard the ISS has been busy with the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon space freighter.
“More cargo is also being unloaded from the new Russian Progress 64 resupply ship,” according to a NASA statement. “3:44 PM 7/24/2016NASA astronaut Kate Rubins has begun work on the new Heart Cells study that will observe how heart muscle tissue adapts to microgravity. Rubins also partnered with Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi for the Body Measures experiment that researches how the body shape changes in outer space. Onishi later setup Mouse Epigenetics gear that will enable research into genetic expression and DNA in mice and their offspring. Commander Jeff Williams worked on plumbing activities in the U.S. segment of the International Space Station.”