This morning, the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter blasted off for Mars, where they’ll search for signs of ancient life when they land on Feb. 18.
The launch gives us a perfect excuse to not only take in some Davie Bowie today, but also to bask in the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s “Visions of the Future” poster series.
Designers and illustrators worked alongside JPL scientists and engineers on the posters, which began by depicting exoplanets in the style of Works Progress Administration art of yore before moving on to more familiar cosmic locales.
As creative strategist David Delgado details, “The WPA poster style is beloved, and other artists have embraced it before us. Our unique take was to take one specific thing about the place and focus on the science of it. We chose exoplanets that had really interesting, strange qualities, and everything about the poster was designed to amplify the concept. The same model guided us for the posters that focus on destinations in the solar system.”