United States Astronauts Tribute
...the NASA Memorial Patch...
This patch honors the memory of those lost on Apollo 1 and the Challenger and Columbia shuttles.
The emblem design was by BILL FOSTER in the Ground Control Office at the Johnson Space Center and MICHAEL OKUDA, Scenic Art Supervisor and Technical Consultant for STAR TREK. It was created in honor of the spirit for which seventeen astronauts lived and made the ultimate sacrifice for the human exploration of space.
The border uses the colors of the US Flag to symbolize the country responsible for the missions. The text on the lower border identifies the three spacecraft lost in the accidents. The background of the emblem represents the void of space. The seventeen stars scattered across the void represent the members of the three missions. The large Greek "Sigma" was borrowed from the Missions Operations Directorate insignia representing the entire team responsible for human space flight. Stretching across the central portion of the patch is the NASA Vector. The words AD ASTRA PER ASPERA are Latin for "To the Stars Despite Adversity." The words Semper Exploro are Latin for "Always Exploring" suggested byKENNETH HAM, Lt. Commander, United States Navy and NASA Astronaut, which adds significantly to the spirit of the emblem.