You are Invited to the next NSS Space Forum
Thursday, May 5, 202, 9:00 pm to 10:15 pm EDT
Space Mission Patches: The Artistry, History and Meaning Behind Their Design
Register here for this free Space Forum
With Special Guests
Along with their training, an important task for each crew selected for a space flight is to design their mission patch. These patches are worn by the astronauts and all of the other people associated with the mission. Today, every expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) has a unique patch as well as NASA’s crewed missions flying aboard the Crew Dragon/Falcon 9. The new commercial flights such as Blue Origin’s New Shepard, Inspiration4 and the recent Axiom Ax-1 mission also developed patches. And today, patches have expanded beyond crewed missions to scientific and deep space and planetary missions. This of course is to the delight of space enthusiasts and collectors eager to add to their collections.
NASA astronauts have been wearing mission patches since 1965. Many other international space programs have followed this lead as the mission patch represents the crew and purpose of the flight. But have you ever thought about what goes into the design of these patches? It is far more than just the artwork. Patches have a deeper meaning that the crews want to convey. Join this informative and fun discussion featuring two of the most prominent space patch artists of today, Blake Dumesnil and Tim Gagnon, as they share the behind the scenes aspects of patch design. They will also talk about their favorite designs and provide a glimpse of what they are working on now. We’ll also be giving away a few of their patches as door prizes.
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Blake Dumesnil is a NASA award-winning art director and designer who has worked on the Engineering, Technology, and Science Contract at NASA’s Johnson Space Center since 2007. Over the years, Blake has collaborated with a number of ISS crew members on developing the official flight patches for Expeditions 36, 38, 41, 45, 58, 63, & 66, as well as Soyuz TMA-17M and Soyuz MS-11. In 2010, Blake’s design for the Space Shuttle End-of-Program Commemorative Patch (shown below) was selected as the final patch to represent the 30-year history of the Space Shuttle Program. He has also had a long-standing relationship with Space Center Houston and has developed an array of large-scale projects for the visitor center, including a 187 ft. mural visualizing the entire history of American spaceflight, as well as a custom backdrop for an Apollo 13 50th Anniversary statue display. He also collaborated on the development of the content and exhibit design for the Independence Plaza Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 747 exhibit.
Tim Gagnon had an early fascination with space exploration and art. For his 16th birthday, Tim’s parents arranged for him and his father to attend the Apollo 17 launch. After reading about the design of the Skylab 1 patch, Tim dreamed about using his artistic talent to contribute to the space program by creating mission patches. His dream came true in 2004 when astronaut John Phillips selected Tim to design the emblem for the Expedition 11 mission to the ISS. Then in 2007 Tim was selected to design the patch for STS-126 (shown below). Tim collaborated with Dr. Jorge Cartes and their design was so impressive they were recommended to other crews. Tim and Jorge designed patches for STS 127, 129, 132 and completed the design for STS 133. Tim and Jorge moved to the ISS and designed patches for the crews of Expeditions 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 34, One Year, 47, 48, 53 and 55. Since 2016, Tim has worked with NASA Flight Directors and the Starliner Flight Test Mission team to design their patches.
Register no later than May 5 at 8 pm EDT.