Ridley Scott is tasked to design a patch that will represent hundreds of experiments launching to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory for the rest of the year.
The brain behind the Alien franchise, Blade Runner, and The Martian believes that the best representation of astronauts is a saintly image closely resembling how the saints were depicted by Italian artists during the Renaissance period.
NASA Collaborates With Ridley Scott
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space works with different collaborators to develop a mission patch that serves as an emblem for all the projects within a calendar year. NASA has designated CASIS to supervise the studies on the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the ISS.
On June 13, the center announced that it has worked with Scott because of his obvious love of space exploration that is evident in the movies he directed and produced.
The ISS National Lab Patch
Ridley shared that he initially drew an androgynous person when he started creating the patch. However, as he drew a helmet on the supposedly genderless individual, he noticed its semblance to how halos were painted in artworks during the Renaissance.
"[I] have always thought on these early paintings of the saints by the Italian masters, you'll see the relevance of how some painters instead of having the halo above like a dish, had it like a circle," Scott says in a video where he explained the process of creating the patch.
As he continued painting, he naturally drifted toward depicting a woman saint. Indeed, for Scott, astronauts are truly saints for having the bravery to explore the universe for the benefit of the humankind.
"As I drew it, I sat and thought about the relevance of the astronaut to space, the heavens, because that's what it is, the infinity," Scott adds.
In line with his vision, CASIS suggested adding the element of the night sky to complete the whole saintly image. Scott agreed and drew the woman as if she was looking toward the ISS.
The final version of the patch features a female astronaut wearing her helmet with her face slightly tilted in one direction, reminiscent of paintings of haloed saints looking above the heavens.
"The helmet would become, in a sense, a subliminal suggestion of a saint, because that's who you are," Scott says, pertaining to the ISS crew.
NASA And Ridley Scott
In its announcement, CASIS said Scott's previous collaboration with NASA was instrumental to have him onboard with the mission patch project.
In 2015, Scott consulted with NASA to make the film The Martian as accurate as possible. The film follows the story of an astronaut, played by Matt Damon, who was stranded on Mars and had to survive while waiting for the rescue team.
Jim Green, head of NASA's Planetary Science Division, did not just answer Scott's inquiries about Mars. He also invited him and his crew to see the prototypes of the apparatus and devices that could make it possible for humans to actually survive on Mars. Green is at the helm of missions that could put astronauts on Mars in the future.