It's safe to say Rocket Raccoon and Groot have made their way into the mainstream consciousness. Considering their obscure comic book origins and minimal status in comics until the 2014 film, it's happened pretty quickly. Now, NASA's getting in on the love.
NASA is honoring the characters' greatness with a special Rocket Raccoon and Groot-inspired patch, being given to employees who worked on the International Space Stations' National Laboratory in 2016. Take a look at the patch below:
"A major mission for us here at CASIS (The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) 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 an official press release. "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."
The patch is specifically sporting Rocket Raccoon and Groot because of their space-travelling nature. "These are characters who have a bit of a space-based background to begin with," CASIS' Patrick O’Neill said. "So both of [these] characters already embody some of the characteristics associated with what’s happening on the space station."
Additionally, CASIS is set to announce an education flight contest, inspired by Rocket and Groot, that is intended to "excite and mobilize the next generation of scientists and engineers."
Check out the video below for some background on NASA's Rocket Raccoon and Groot patch: