Jessica Helfand of Winterhouse in Connecticut went even further into the past. Her NASA logo is built of a whirling tracery of curving lines, taken from the astronomer Johann Elert Bodes 1802 Projection on the Plane of the Ecliptic of the Parabolic Orbits of 72 Comets.
It seemed natural, when I found that image from the early 19th century (that LOOKED like it could have come from the 21st), to try to use it as the core symbol, Helfand wrote. I also liked the energy of the line it seems to convey a human element that is generally missing from contemporary, overly digitized, too polished logos. The NASA name is in Akzidenz Grotesk. The font was designed in 1898, Helfand wrote, the same year HG Wells published War of the Worlds, which inspired a then-16-year-old Robert Goddard to investigate liquid-fueled rocketry. The future has a history.