The creation of mission patches is one of those age-old NASA traditions. Ever since humans first started traveling to space in the 1960’s, patches have been designed for each mission. It all began with the two-man Gemini IV mission in 1965 where the American flag was worn on a spacesuit and the tradition lives on today. The design of the mission patch is usually reserved for the crew (with the help of a NASA artist), but with only five Space Shuttle flights remaining, all scheduled to launch next year, NASA wanted to do something uplifting to mark the end of the Shuttle program. From October 15 to December 1, the Program opened up the design process and engaged past and present program workers to submit an emblem to mark the end of the shuttle era. NASA received 85 entries from people across the nation.
All 85 patch designs will be posted to an internal NASA website for a vote among employees from Jan. 11 through Jan. 29. 15 out of the 85 patch designs will be picked and flown on one of the last shuttle flights. NASA’s graphic artists will assist by adapting the winning concept for production. All 85 patch designs can be viewed here along with a short description from the artist. (PDF download: ~3mb)
Cross posted from openNASA.com
Related articles on collectspace.com (by @robertpearlman):
Designing an uplifting end to NASA’s space shuttle program
NASA launches in-house patch contest to mark shuttle era’s end
More than Just a Merit Badge.
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