Graffiti In Space

Graffiti In Space: Who will be the First?

We can see several graffiti writings and paintings on the streets around us which depict different notions. It has recently gained popularity as a part of the hip-hop culture.

Graffiti was earlier seen was vandalism and people caught drawing on public or private walls were punished. The current trends have changed and it is seen as an art form with great artists doing wonderful graffiti works.

Graffiti Seen from Outer Space

The world’s largest graffiti painting was done by artist INSA and was right named INSA’s GIF-ITI. The image was a heart shaped graffiti repainted with small variations over 3 times and satellite images of these 3 images were captured and converted into gif. INSA is a graffiti artist and was famous for this huge wall murals. With his new work of art, covering an area of 57, 515 sq meter, he had successfully created the enormous graffiti that could be seen from space.

Space Logo Brand Designs on the Space Station

spaceflight logo designerThis is a case of a graffiti being able to be viewed from outer space, and there are countless logo designs in low earth orbit – but recently there are reported cases of Graffiti in outer space. Let’s take a look at a few instances of such art.

Morse Code on Martian Sand

JPL ( Jet Propulsion Laboratory) has put up its signature Morse code JPL on the tires of Curiosity Rover. So every time the tire rolls, the signature JPL is imprinted on the Martian sands. Some justifications say that this is to give a proper measurement of the distance covered by the rover in Mars. The number of imprints of JPL on the sand can give the distance travelled approximation. Whatever may be the reasoning, this is a simple instance of graffiti on the Red Planet.

Evidence for Graffiti in Apollo 11

The command module of the Apollo 11 which successfully landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon have been on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for over 40 years since 1970. In a recent project undertaken to make a clear study of the capsule, the researchers uncovered markings similar to graffiti drawings. The spacecraft had three astronauts, namely Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. The graffiti markings were on the interior walls which were hidden from sight. The curator of the museum, Allan Needell had sent out the pictures of the drawings.

One of the markings has been like some course correction scribbles. Studies were conducted by comparing these with the audio transcripts and was found to be communication details for the coordinates for the Lunar module Eagle. These were found near the navigation section near to the telescope and sextant for easy access of the coordinates. (

There was another marker noticed on the chamber R5 which said “ Launch Day Urine bags.” This was a notification to inform that it contained urine collected before the waste disposal technology started working. There was also a countdown marked from 16th till 24, till the capsule landed in the pacific. It is not known which astronaut had done this, but yet it shows that he was eagerly waiting to get back.

There was also a graffiti note by Michael Collins on the interior wall of the capsule which praised Spacecraft 107 and wished it all the very best for the future years. This was the first of the one of the kind, graffiti markers found on outer space.

Invader’s Artwork in ISS

art design in spaceArtist Invader had once sent his artwork named SpaceOne to the stratosphere by attaching it to a Helium balloon in the year 2012. This was done as a part of the project – Art4Space. Later in June 2014, this graffiti artist sent his piece of artwork, the Space2 which was a geometrical representation of the popular game Space Invader. He wished to push all boundaries and reach art to wherever he could. Art is more like an inspiration and it will prove the same for scientists too. (

It does more work than a simple inspirational art. Space 2 connects the iss to esa locations in Europe. This was sent in the ATV -5 spacecraft. This was launched from Guiana Space Center, Kourou in French Guiana. It is a form of binary art and thus serve the purpose of communication and linking. The artist basic idea was to use tiles instead of pixels to create the image and his initial aim was to place it on walls all over the world. He has been successful in placing several if these mosaic tile pictures in different locations and finally the one in the International Space Station.

Shepard Fairey’s Mission Patch in Space

Street artist Shepard Fairey was put on work by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space(CASIS) to create a promo patch fro their newest venture ARK 1. The aim of ARK1 is to promote science research in space and will have experiments conducted to study protein crystallization and colloidal connection. The ARK 1 along with the research equipments will also have the patches designed by Fairey.

The patch depicts a new logo for the mission. The blue and green theme of the design in the triangular patch is to match with the CASIS logo. There is also a depiction of the ISS with the space shuttle. The research is conducted by expedition teams 37 and 38 and therefore the patch has the numbers on small circles. The basic idea is to promote the brand and the logo of the ARK 1 across the globe towards a major cause of space research.

Brand Development with Outer Space Graffiti

All designers reach their optimal goals on earth with the open space featuring a vast opportunity they dream to make their artwork reach the outer space. Some people like Fairey and Invader are lucky enough. But for others the way is to sneak up tags, names or pictures along with objects that go into the ISS supply. But more is to come up with space graffitis and billboards.

Recently a Japanese soft drink company named ‘Pocari Sweat’ expressed its plan to send a can weighing 1 kg to the outer space on the Moon.( It will have a powdered form of the drink and will be the first of its kind advertisement or brand set up on the moon.

This is not the first plan for marketing in space as the notion was scuppered in 1993 when presented by Space Marketing Inc. The first forms can yet be attributed to the logos of the ISS and sponsors on the space probes.

“Perhaps future space probes will be plastered in commercial logos, just as Formula One cars are now. Perhaps Robot Wars in space will be a lucrative spectator sport. If humans venture back to the moon, and even beyond, they may carry commercial insignia rather than national flags.”- Martin Rees