September 29 - October 03, 1988

Crew & Mission

(S88-47522 - 10 September 1988) --- These five veteran astronauts have been training for over a year to serve as NASA's crew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery for STS-26. On the front row are astronauts Frederick H. (Rick) Hauck, commander; and Richard O. Covey, Pilot. On the back row are astronauts John M. (Mike) Lounge, David C. Hilmers and George D. Nelson -- all mission specialists. The crewmembers are wearing the orange partial pressure garments which they will be wearing on the launch and entry phases of the flight.

The Artwork

(AUGUST 4, 1987) --- This is the STS-26 crew patch. The predominant themes are: a new beginning (sunrise), a safe mission (stylized launch and plume), the building upon the traditional strengths of NASA (the red vector which symbolizes aeronautics on the original NASA insignia), and a remembrance of their seven colleagues who died aboard Challenger (the seven-starred Big Dipper). The patch was designed by artist Stephen R. Hustvedt of Annapolis, MD.

A Personal Story...

One of NASA's most critical space shuttle missions occurred in 1988. STS-26 came just two years after NASA suffered the devastating loss of the Challenger disaster. It was a time when the general public and even some members of Congress viewed the space program with a mixed degree of skepticism and apprehension.

Astronaut Frederick Hauck commanded that flight and wanted the mission patch to express a new beginning for NASA. When the time came to design the patch, he turned to Stephen Hustvedt, his uncle and an accomplished artist.

..."We didn't have any preconceived ideas, so I spoke with him," recalls Hauck. "He said 'well, what is the most important thing about your mission?' I said 'a safe flight'. So we drew the rocket launch representing a safe flight. We also have seven stars in a big dipper. We agreed as a crew that we wanted to include the seven stars to remind us of the seven friends killed on the Challenger. Additionally, we knew that NASA had been under this terrible loss and was working very hard to have a new beginning. What's more representative of a new beginning than a sunrise? So there is a sunrise there"...

Ad Astra, November-December 2000

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