Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘ famous characters Rocket Raccoon and Groot are now representing a mission patch for the United States’ National Laboratory in the International Space Station (ISS), through a project between Marvel and NASA that will be launched later this year.

The Marvel patch announcement was made by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS, which administers the National Laboratory, at the San Diego Comic-con on Friday. “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” said Darren Sanchez, a Marvel Custom Solutions project manager and editor; as well, he affirmed that scientists at NASA enjoy Marvel characters, and they liked the idea of doing something for the International Space Station (ISS).

Rocket Raccoon appears in the live-action Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, voiced by Bradley Cooper and played by Sean Gunn in motion capture. Groot (also known as the Monarch of Planet X) is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Credits: Marvel/Disney/Wikipedia

Rocket Raccoon and Groot are taken to space

Marvel entertainment was founded in 1939 and it has had an enormous impact worldwide including the scientific community. Its “Guardians of the Galaxy” film was released in 2014 and it had a great feedback grossing $773 million worldwide. Its characters, the genetically modified Rocket Raccoon and the Tree-like humanoid Groot, are now part of the project which resulted from a partnership between the highly recognized entertainment enterprises and NASA.

“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.” said Ken Shields, CASIS’s operations and educational opportunities director.

The red, white and blue based mission patch shows Rocket Raccoon sitting on Groot’s right shoulder, as they look into the starry sky. It will be worn by astronauts at the National Lab of the ISS. As well, it will be used in more than 100 investigations managed by the National Laboratory. The designer of the patch is Juan Doe, a very creative artist who has previously worked with Marvel covers. According to Sanchez, Does work is very subtle. The first Doe’s sketches showed Rocket and Groot but didn’t include the space station in the patch. The orbiting laboratory was added later.

The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ mission patch is just the start

At San Diego Comic-con, the panel overseeing the National Lab of ISS explained they chose these characters for the patch because they have a space-based background, Groot and Rocket do embody plenty characteristics related to what’s going on at the space station. But the innovative piece is probably just the beginning of the partnership between Marvel and NASA since CASIS admitted there is the initiative of using both Rocket and Groot in an educational platform for the children at the end of 2016.

Additionally, Rocket Raccoon and Groot have important projects ahead including the return to the big screen with the release of “Guardian of the Galaxy 2” and their own Rocket Raccoon and Groot comic written by Nick Kocher.

Source: NBC News