Monday, April 06, 2009

Astronaut Theology: Shapes of Things to Come?

In one of the earliest posts I did on this blog, I looked at the mission logo for the Constellation program, with its hidden 3/17. What I hadn't seen then was the patch, which is triangular, rather than the usual circle.

The shuttle program has introduced a number of different shapes for the logos/patches, though most seem to have stuck to some variation on the circle or oval or rectangle. This whole triangle thing is quite eye-catching, particularly given NASA's semiotic connections to Egyptian mythology, well documented by Hoagland and Bara, as well as on this blog.

All but one or two of the Apollo patches were circles, including the most famous of them all, Apollo 11. The iconic design has been reworked for a new project...

...that being the Altair lunar landing module. What caught my eye (no pun intended) here was the old "eye-in-triangle" motif, familiar from Masonic iconography. Here the Earth plays the part of the Eye. As far as I know this is a new variation, in that the Eye is usually meant to symbolize the Sun and/or the Moon.

The Orion spacecraft was unveiled on March 30, giving us a tidy reference to 33 and 17 (add the numerals 3302009). And yet there are 13 stars on the patch! This design is much like the Constellation, adding in the all-important stars of Orion's Belt, well familiar to fans of Robert Bauval. Funny how Hoagland used to speculate on NASA's original logo incorporating Orion and here it is now, out in the open. Just like everything else these days.

Dan Brown fans might be amused by the use of Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man icon in the EVA Systems patch (EVA is a life-support equipment program for astronauts). Again the triangle and another encoded 13 (possibly a Templar reference, given the Masonic influence in NASA). Note: The Vitruvian Man is also on the Italian Euro dollar coin, which is a whole other topic.

So NASA is using triangles instead of circles now. Big deal, right? However, the thing that got me thinking on all of this was when I was watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind and noticed the folks in the alien/human exchange program were wearing triangular mission patches, which also had that old eye-in-triangle riff on them. And CE3K got me thinking back on the possible origins of the eye-in-the-sky motif.

With all the high weirdness- and the high tech hardware- in the air these days, you can't help but wonder if this new triangular design motif might not have some deeper meaning, other than the usual Masonic connotations. We're getting hit with so much from so many directions that this might not seem all that significant, but given NASA's symbolic fixations, it could be an important clue nonetheless.

It certainly fits in with the tenor of these very strange times we find ourselves in.