The National Reconnaissance Office feared their “Goddess” logo was “too creepy” for a spy satellite

Designer pushed back against edits they felt would make the logo look like an “unappealing anime cartoon.”

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

Just a month after the launch of National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)’s NROL-39 spy satellite — and amid the ensuing backlash against the decision to make its logo a world-devouring octopus — an NRO employee nervously inquired about the fate of the mascot for their own mission, NROL-35.

Was she still indeed “the one,” or would she fall victim to some post-scandal cap on sinister imagery?

A day later, word passed down. She was safe.

Our nameless rocket scientist was quite taken with the news, it seems.

So, who was this beauty, and what objections did people have with her that they didn’t have with, say, an octopus eating the planet?

Materials released via a Runa Sandvik-inspired FOIA reveal her name: The Goddess.

Unfortunately, the black and white print-outs the NRO provided were a bit heavy on the contrast, so here’s a look at the final version for comparison.

And who is The Goddess? She’s a strong, confident woman who’s also the benevolent, omniscient ruler of the known world, capable of commanding the elements to do her bidding.

If that strikes you as a tad unsettling, just compare her to some previous unclassified logos …

which, despite the title, all appear to be very much classified.

Reception to the Goddess was … shall we say, lukewarm?

But the design was the nevertheless approved - at least, until the aptly-named BRO had some “suggestions.” Mainly, lighten up a bit, and stop looking so creepy.

The designer pushed back, particularly against the pupils - arguing that it would make her look like “an unappealing anime cartoon.”

Fortunately, The Goddess was not without her defenders - including one with a strong contender of greatest government email signature of all time.

Apparently, that was enough, as the final version submitted for review look almost identical to the original draft - pupil-free and as creepy as she wants to be.

Read the full release embedded below, or on the request page - and if there’s a logo you want the backstory of, clone the request and file away.


Image via Orbiter Forum