22 May 2024

New Astronautic Records Commission logo reflects a new era in spaceflight

The FAI Astronautic Records Commission (ICARE) has released a new logo design. The Commission was originally founded in 1960 to appraise and ratify human spaceflight records, and with this new logo, the bureau aims to encapsulate a new era in space exploration.

The speed of recent astronautic developments has echoed the fast pace of 1960s space voyages. A dramatic increase in launches and launch providers from government and commercial initiatives triggered the ICARE community to begin revising some of its definitions and record parameters to prepare for the next generation of ambitious missions.  That ongoing work started by engaging a group of notable spaceflight experts and thought leaders - the ICARE Expert Panel - in a detailed discussion on the future of spaceflight over the next 50 years.

The new logo was designed to reflect this momentum and capture the essence of the future of crewed and uncrewed spaceflight.

Henrik Åkerstedt, ICARE’s Vice-President, explained the rationale behind the new design:

“The helmet represents the human element of spaceflight and the globe represents our common origin. Two arcs represent different mission profiles: suborbital flights lasting only a few minutes all the way to orbital and hyperbolic trajectories leaving our planet.”

About ICARE’s work

ICARE is an acronym for the International Commission for Astronautic Records, with a nod to Greek mythology’s tale of Icarus – known in French as ‘Icare’ – a character who epitomises humankind’s primordial quest to soar in the skies above terra firma.

In fact, defining the boundary between the sky and space is a remit of the commission, whose bureau and experts are working on a more scientific interpretation of the 1950s definition first proposed by aeronautical engineer Theodore von Karman. The ‘Karman Line’ was agreed to be at 100km altitude, which has long served as a boundary condition for FAI spaceflight records. Achieving a modern and scientifically accurate definition to the question ‘where does space begin’ is vital for ICARE’s decision making when it comes to new astronautic records.

ICARE Awards

The FAI Awards is an annual event and features awards and diplomas for aeronautics and astronautics in general as well as under each Commission. ICARE is able to recognise outstanding accomplishments in astronautics under six different medals or diplomas:

  • The FAI Gold Space Medal
  • The Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal
  • The Vladimir Komarov Diploma
  • The Korolev Diploma
  • The Odyssey Diploma
  • The FAI Honorary Group Diploma (for Astronautics)

The Gold Space medal was last awarded in 2020 to Yuri Gagarin, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his historic space flight.

More recently, the Vladimir Komarov Diploma was awarded last year to astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy, for her mission aboard the International Space Station.

In 2022, the duo Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken from NASA were awarded The Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal for their performance as flight crew during the SpaceX Demonstration Mission-2. The Komarov Diploma was also awarded that year to Jared Issacman and the crew of the Inspiration 4 mission, the first all civilian orbital spaceflight and the first standalone flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Inspiration4 in orbit
The Inspiration 4 Crew. Image credit: Inspiration4/John Kraus