PLEASE NOTE: WHEN THIS WAS FIRST MADE, THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM WAS ENDING IN 2010 AND THE PATCH STATES 1981-2010. SINCE THE PROGRAM ENDS IN 2011, A NEW PATCH HAS BEEN MADE; 1981-2011. We are lucky to have both patches in limited quantities - they are destined to be rare collectibles!
This patch commemorates the 30 year Space Shuttle Program. This design was the winning submission in a contest. The contest, which closed to submissions last December, was conceived by space shuttle program manager John Shannon and his technical assistant Debbie Byerly as an "uplifting" activity for workers as the program entered its final year. This winning design is by Blake Dumesnil, who chose a diamond-shape for his patch to suggest how the shuttle has been "an innovative, iconic gem in the history of American spaceflight," its facets fanning out to "evoke the vastness of space and our aim to explore it, as the shuttle has done successfully for decades."
The central element of his design, the space shuttle itself, is bounded by panels depicting the American flag and two sets of stars: 14 in memory of the astronauts lost aboard Challenger and Columbia, and five symbolizing the shuttle fleet including Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. The patch's jewel-shape is cradled by the outline of a blue circle, symbolizing the orbiter's realm in low Earth orbit but also alluding "to the smoothness of the shuttle orbiting the earth," according to the caption Dumesnil provided for the contest.
Fully Embroidered 5" x 4" Patch.