The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) announced on July 22 that the International Space Station’s latest mission patch will feature Guardian of the Galaxy’s Rocket and Groot. The mission patch, designed by Marvel and its Marvel Custom Solutions Group,  will represent all science payloads launching in 2016 to the US National Laboratory on board the ISS.

Apparently, choosing the perfect characters from the Marvel universe for the ISS mission patch took some time. Eventually, CASIS concluded that Rocket and Groot were the most appropriate characters as these two have a space-based background.

According to Darren Sanchez, Custom Solutions project manager and editor for Marvel, creating the ISS mission patch with Marvel characters is a really cool idea. CASIS also hopes that featuring these two will inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers.

ISS mission patch

The new ISS mission patch. Credit: CASIS

In 2011, NASA chose CASIS to maximize the use of the ISS US National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is an organization that supervises all research carried out in the ISS, which will benefit and enhance life on Earth.

“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 in our orbiting laboratory,” says Ken Shields, Director of Operations and Educational Opportunities  at CASIS, in a press release. “There are very few brands in the world that 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.”

This year, more than 100 science research will be conduct aboard the space station, including life and physical sciences, technology development, material sciences and Earth observation. CASIS is also expected to announce an education flight competition focused on Rocket and Groot later this year.