The Crew

(STS127-S-002 - 10 Oct. 2008) --- Attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, these seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-127 crew portrait. Pictured on the front row are astronauts Mark Polansky (right), commander, and Doug Hurley, pilot. Remaining crewmembers, pictured from left to right, are astronauts Dave Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, Canadian Space Agency's Julie Payette, Tom Marshburn and Tim Kopra, all mission specialists. Kopra is scheduled to join Expedition 19 as flight engineer after launching to the International Space Station with the STS-127 crew.

STS-127 art

(STS127-S-001 - February 2009) --- Space Shuttle mission STS-127 is the 32nd construction flight of the International Space Station (ISS) and the final of a series of three flights dedicated to the assembly of the Japanese "Kibo" laboratory complex. In addition to delivering, installing, and servicing an external scientific platform that will be attached to the end of the Japanese module, STS-127 will bring up a new ISS crew member and return another one to Earth, replace vital components of the ISS electrical production system, and transfer various pieces of hardware to ISS. Five spacewalks and the operation of four different robotic arms will be required to accomplish these tasks over 10 days. A crew spokesperson had the following words for the patch. "Bathed in sunlight, the blue Earth is represented without boundaries to remind us that we all share this world. In the center, the golden flight path of the space shuttle turns into the three distinctive rays of the astronaut symbol culminating in the star-like emblem characteristic of the Japanese Space Agency, yet soaring further into space as it paves the way for future voyages and discoveries for all humankind."

STS-127 patch design
Fresh off the STS-126 project Tim Gagnon recieved an email in January 2008 from astronaut Tom Marshburn who (along along with Julie Payette) was going to be the patch project coordinator for the 127 crew:

"Julie and I are members of the newly assigned STS-127 crew, and TJ Creamer forwarded us the idea for the 127 patch that you created. It's good to meet you !!

One thing we're interested in is making the patch as simple as possible, keeping just the main ideas. We don't necessarily want our patch to look like the E16 patch, but we like it's simplicity a lot. Minimizing little details makes for an immediately recognizable logo that is easily transferable to shirts, etc., and can be more aesthetically pleasing.

The main images we'd like to see are the shuttle, the number 127, and a representation of the exposed facility or something that recognizes the Japanese payload. Again, we really like the configuration, overall design, and color you already have for these images. (See the two images above) Since the exposed facility itself is tough to draw and not so recognizable in stitching, we thought a symbol would be better. Maybe the star embedded in JAXA would be good? If you're able to work some more on this, we really appreciate it. Feel free to think outside the box, and we look forward to hearing back from you.

Then the real work began for Jorge and Tim, they took the design elements the crew liked and removed the ones they didn't and recreated the emblem and re-submitted it. They did however had some questions to the STS-127 crew:

Does the crew have a preference for patch shape, circle, oval, hexagon, or do you want to see what we come up with first?
Knowing that each crew seeks to have something unique, have you thought about Roman Numerals (in honor of your CDR) for the mission designation? ( CXXVII )
Do you want us to include the crewmember coming down "Wakata" as well as the one going up: Kopra?
Julie do you like us using the Maple Leaf from the Canadian Flag as the "A" in "Payette?"

Astronaut Tom Marshburn send back the answers:

To answer your questions:
We all liked the oval shape in your original, but we're open to other ideas.
Non-standard numerals sounds like a neat concept. Roman numerals seem a little cumbersome, but maybe you can make it work - we're open to the idea!
Looks like other patches have just the uphill crewmember, so for now we'll leave off Wakata (he'll be on another crew's patch).
Julie preferred having the maple leaf incorporated elsewhere so that the names are uniform (but not a big deal).

We were thinking, based on your design, of a simple graphic with a crescent earth as you have it with the "swoop" up to a shuttle or shuttle symbol, but without clouds or stars, just to minimize clutter. Glad you like the JAXA star.
Other comments from the crew include:
Balancing the names around the perimeter so Kopra doesn't have so much space around his name. Maybe a little more color. Gold vice white in some areas (maybe lettering?) and/or some green somewhere. Thanks again for the effort. We're looking forward to seeing your ideas!

Tim and Jorge send these to the crew (see images below), and got a reply from the crew a few days later:

Here's a compilation of suggestions - we like the general idea -
Can we see what the names look like slightly larger, with different fonts, and in gold? Maybe the 127 with the names (at the bottom) would look good.
Also, we're all sure making the JAXA star red won't work. Can you make it gold like the rest of the shuttle/swoosh?
If you can make the earth more crescenteric, tilted, so that it looks less like a semicircle, that'd be great. Also, how about trying combining the rays aft of the orbiter, and then having three rays forward up to the star.
There's a lot of the blackness of space around the image - maybe some stars would help with that after all.

We're going to get together as a crew for the first time next weekend. Julie and/or I will print out your ideas and let folks look them all over some more.

Tim and Jorge went to work on the design again and late February they send there final two idea's to the crew (see image below) and got a reply from the crew a few days later:

Got 'em! Thanks a ton, Tim. Great timing, too. We're going to have our first crew get-together this weekend, and we're bringing all versions so that all the crew can see how we got from the first versions to these latest one. I really think we're on the home stretch…thanks for the great ideas. We'll probably pick our favorite elements and get back to you ASAP.

On 7 March 2008 the artwork was ready:

Hey Tim and Jorge - Thanks again so much for your interest and effort in this project! The overall design was based on your original idea, and your technical expertise and further artistic inputs brought us a patch we're all very happy with. We have to give the designs to a JSC graphics person now so they can put it into all the required standard formats. And then after looking at a few pre-production patches, we can make our final choice. But we wouldn't be at this point, and so painlessly, without your work!

Thanks again for coming on-board with us!

Tom (on behalf of the 127 crew)

All these (design) images have a copyright, which belongs to Tim, Jorge and the STS-127 crew. ( is using the images with permission). So please do not use them without permission, and do NOT try to make patches out of the images !!!

Collecting STS-127

STS-125 | Shuttle Mission Index |