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US adorns its newest spy rocket with malevolent octopus

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Space octopus
Space octopus

The octopus is not just the in thing for hipster pillow designs — the US government's taken a liking to it once again, and has plastered it onto its latest space delivery. A large, orange octopus seen grasping its tentacles over the top and side of the Earth can be seen on the side of NROL-39, America's newest intelligence satellite that was launched into orbit last Thursday carrying a classified payload. The logo caused a stir not only for its connotations with older communist and capitalist propaganda, but also for its tagline, which read "nothing is beyond our reach."

"Nothing is beyond our reach."

A spokesperson for the National Reconnaissance Office downplayed any suggestions that the intent of the logo was evil, or designed to intimate. "NORL-39 is represented by the octopus, a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature," a spokesperson told Forbes. "Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide."


It's not the first time the US has used an octopus to get the point across, though it comes as the country is under close scrutiny — especially by technology companies — for its privacy policy. The US used imagery of an octopus wrapping tentacles around the world as part of propaganda during the cold war, depicting Joseph Stalin as a giant red octopus, stretching from country to country. The imagery has also been used to vilify imperialism, especially of England in the late 1800s.