The Crew

(STS120-S-002 - 16 Feb. 2007) --- These seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-120 crew portrait. Pictured from the left are astronauts Scott E. Parazynski, Douglas H. Wheelock, Stephanie D. Wilson, George D. Zamka, Pamela A. Melroy, Daniel M. Tani, and Paolo A. Nespoli.

STS-120 art

(STS120-S-001 - February 2007) --- The STS-120 patch reflects the role of the mission in the future of the space program. The shuttle payload bay carries Node 2, the doorway to the future international laboratory elements on the International Space Station. On the left the star represents the International Space Station; the red colored points represent the current location of the P6 solar array, furled and awaiting relocation when the crew arrives. During the mission, the crew will move P6 to its final home at the end of the port truss. The gold points represent the P6 solar array in its new location, unfurled and producing power for science and life support. On the right, the moon and Mars can be seen representing the future of NASA. The constellation Orion rises in the background, symbolizing NASA's new exploration vehicle. Through all, the shuttle rises up and away, leading the way to the future.

Almost STS-120 art...

STS-120 art description:

All of Pam Melroy's comments are in bold.

Each year Pam Melroy and I (Tim) exchange email birthday wishes because we were born on the same day. In 2006 knowing of my long standing desire to help design a crew patch she offered me the opportunity to "through my hat into the ring." Every crew wants to have a unique design.

"If so, we are looking for something simple, elegant, and not like the vast majority of patches we have seen recently for Shuttle crews. We are delivering Node 2 and relocating the P6 solar array truss."

"Hi Pam-

Here's a rough draft (see image above) of your patch. I tried to keep it "simple and elegant" but also to incorporate illustrations that would add meaning to the design. Using Roman Numerals for (STS) 120 would allow me to incorporate the Astronaut Symbol and/or the US and Italian Flags into the "XX's" The "C" could be a way to honor the crews of Challenger and Columbia if you wish.

The ISS is shown as it will appear after your mission. We can add as many or as few stars as you wish. On some patches people have attached certain symbolism to the number of stars. The P6 solar array and the Node 2 could be highlighted in gold.

I sent them designs I labeled "B 1, 2 & 3" "B" (image above are draft B1 and B3) for the second round of drafts. The crew responded with feedback with my responses

Please add the name “Tani” to the patch. Although not formally named, we will be bringing Dan Tani up to the space station with us.

Done-will you also be returning an ISS crew member?

We're interested in your idea of incorporating the US Flag in one X, and the Italian Flag in the other one. Can you make the XX's work into an astronaut symbol rising to that star on the right?

Done in all three examples, though tweaking the placement of the "rays" will probably be necessary.

We’d also like a version just like that one except that instead a star, there is a shuttle with an empty payload bay rising. Keep the swooshes from the flag on up. I love the notion of honoring Challenger and Columbia with the C! Any ideas on how to do that? Maybe incorporate some theme from each patch into the C? That might be too tiny to notice, and maybe we'll just leave it at that.

I thought of using the sunrise from the STS-107 patch and the orbiter from the 51-L patch but decided that STS-120 needed to have its own design. I hope you agree. I did make a "double C" - one gold, one silver to represent Challenger and Columbia.

We like the sunrise very much, but it could be tough from a thread point of view to do it in fabric. We can work with you on that. What about a more stylized version – slightly more curved, and the earth a pale blue (no green, no land mass, just simple)?

In all three drafts I created a more stylized version of the curvature of the Earth. In draft B2 where I created a more embroidery-friendly version of a sun burst, I added a white line also.

In draft B2 (image above) I made the "rays" start silver and turn to gold once they reached space. I wanted to illustrate how the first time flyers earn their gold pins. I also highlighted in gold your missions contribution to the ISS.

If after viewing the flags inside the "X's" you decide that they don't work, we can place a flag on either side of Dan Tani's name. Also it's very possible that Node 2 will be named. I thought it prudent to reserve space under the CXX for that name. If not we could add your assembly sequence number.

On October 23, 2006 the answer came down:

We had “the big meeting” on Friday to down select to one artist, one concept. I'm happy to tell you that your concept was in the final two (out of 12). It was a tough decision and we had a complex point system...The bad news is that in the end, the other design won. We did however all agree that your color scheme was the best..."

The crew was very kind to autograph one of my designs for me. It is a special momento of a wonderful experience that I will treasure always.

Tim Gagnon, November 2007

Flight Suit

Collecting STS-120

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