Lilly Smith from FastCompany has done a great write-up, which fans of the Nasa worm logotype will love. And you get to learn that SpaceX is a great fan too.
In summary, the worm logotype lay dormant for 28 year and was in use only for 17 years. The wordmark was created by Dane and Blackburn and derogatorily called the worm at first.
1992 the logo was retired by executive decision. The new NASA administrator at the time, Dan Goldin, allegedly didn’t like the worm and wanted to bring back the meatball as the primary logo.
Worm fans however kept distributing the logotype and it became even more widespread visible with Goldin’s decision it remained present.
“The general public probably sees it as a nostalgic and retro representation of NASA,” says Jesse Reed, co-founder of Order design and Standards Manual, which will publish the monograph The Worm. “That’s a whole genre into itself.”