When an email with the subject line “We want to launch one of your designs into space” landed in our inbox earlier this year, we knew we were in for an exciting project.
Aerospace and defence group Nammo were planning to launch their hybrid rocket engine – the Nucleus – into space. If successful, the Nucleus would not only be the first Norwegian-built rocket to reach outer space, but also the first European hybrid rocket motor to do so in over 50 years.
Nammo invited us to design the livery for the outside of the rocket and the mission patches for the launch team to wear on their uniform. The launch would be watched by hundreds of thousands of people, so we got to work creating a design that would stand out from space.
A prestigious project
With plenty of ideas in orbit, our design team began putting together initial drawings and creative concepts. The rocket would be photographed and filmed before the launch and, at 9.4 meters long, the livery design needed to showcase Nammo’s brand in an eye-catching way.
The mission patches proved more challenging.
In the early days of space travel, the rocket pilots – who were former fighter pilots – started a tradition of wearing an emblem patch on their uniform. This practice has since become a standard part of space travel and a unique patch is still being created for each mission (there have been some weird ones over the years).
For the Nucleus launch, it was essential that the design of the mission patch struck a good visual balance between including all the elements in detail without looking cluttered. The solution was a simple yet stylised concept using Nammo’s brand colours. It’s important to be recognised – even from space!
A mock-up image of the rocket was also required for use in the media, adverts and social media content promoting the launch. For this, we worked from the flat designs to create a bespoke 3D replica of the rocket and applied the livery artwork to it. Picking the perfect space backdrop, we manipulated the two together to create a realistic rocket image for use ahead of the launch.
Out of this world
Our designs for the rocket livery, mission patch, 3D imagery and additional advertising collateral gave the Nucleus launch team a complete set of mission materials. We handed over the deliverables to Nammo and followed the countdown to launch day with great anticipation.
On 27th September 2018, the Nucleus space rocket was launched into space and hailed a complete success. This was a prestigious project to be part of and an incredible milestone for the team at Nammo. We’re already looking forward to hearing how the Nucleus will continue to develop.
So, one giant leap for Nammo – and for us here at Harleys too. It’s great to be able to say that our designs really have been launched into space!
Whether your next project is taking place in the skies or here on planet Earth, get in touch for space-certified design support from our team.