Biology in Outer Space: ISS Mission Posters


We teamed up with an artist named Travis Bone to create posters to mark our missions to the ISS

Travis Bone is a graphic designer who has created concert posters for artists who work in a variety of musical genres, ranging from Childish Gambino to Lucinda Williams. Though Bone has been making posters for well over a decade, it’s rare that he is presented with the opportunity to design for an event that relates to space, or biology — or, in our case, both.

As part of an initiative funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), we’re sending our Organ-Chips and a modified version of our hardware — dubbed Cosmic Zoë — to the International Space Station, and we are honored to have Bone design posters to commemorate the launches.

Probably one of the most interesting projects that I’ve been involved with in a really long time.

— Travis Bone

Bone, who has been making band posters for over a decade, enjoyed applying his craft to a new field. “This is probably one of the most interesting projects that I’ve been involved with in a really long time,” he said.

Mission 01: Neurons and Nebulas

The first poster, Mission 01: Neurons and Nebulas, marks the launch our Brain-Chip to the Space Station. The flight is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 3, 2019.

Mission 02: Microbiome Meets Microgravity

The second, Mission 02: Microbiome Meets Microgravity, illustrates our second project with NCATS, which will study the effects of space flight on the intestinal microbiome. Mission 02 will launch in November 2019.

There’s a kind of character to each individual print, and there’s a bit of my garage in them too.

Biology and space aren’t Bone’s typical stomping grounds, but they offered him the opportunity to work in a visual language that is different from his concert work. “When I’m working with music, I take what I hear, and what I feel about the music, and apply that to the design,” he said.

“But with a project like this, I had to use elements that are recognizable by people who work in the field, and I needed to make a connection using those elements.”

Bone makes each print by hand in his shop — which is also his garage — in Utah. The studio isn’t climate controlled, which makes his work, and work schedule, subject to the elements. “The place in which these posters get printed bleeds into how they end up coming out,” he said. “There’s a kind of character to each individual print — and there’s a bit of my garage in them too.”

Bone, who studied chemistry while in college, said that he’s always been interested in science and the visual language of science fiction.

“I approached this like a science fiction project, because with cutting edge science, visually there’s not always a defined line between it and sci-fi,” Bone said.

“This project was a bit more challenging than most projects, but the challenge was the fun part.”

More of Travis Bone’s work can be found on his website and on his Instagram account.