The Designs

The Contests

NASA conducted a contest in 2009-2010 to design a Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Patch. The contest invited all current and former employees of NASA and its contractors to submit ideas for a patch to commemorate the retirement of the space shuttle. The winning patch would be used to celebrate the accomplishments of the Space Shuttle Program when it retired.

I created four different designs and variations for the contest. From those, I chose as my entry the one that I believed best captured the spirit of what NASA was looking for to commemorate the many great accomplishments of the Space Shuttle program. (Design number 1, above.)

My design was one of the top 15 finalists chosen out of a total of 85 entries received. Entries were judged by a team of managers from the Space Shuttle Program. The winning patch design would be flown on one of the final missions, and the winner would be presented with their flown artwork as an award.

A "People's Choice Award" vote was also conducted for NASA employees in January 2010. My design placed fifth among the top 15 finalists in the NASA employees' voting. I received 506 votes (6.7%) out of a total of 7606. Thanks to all who voted for my design. conducted its own unofficial "Fans' Choice" poll at the same time NASA was having its "People's Choice Award" vote. My design placed sixth among the top 15 finalists in the collectSPACE poll, receiving 275 votes (8.6%) out of a total of 3206.

Space Shuttle patch design artwork has flown aboard Atlantis

Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis May 14, 2010
Photo credit: NASA

On May 14, 2010, Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off on what was then its planned last flight into space. Riding onboard the spacecraft in the cargo bay was my artwork designed to commemorate the Space Shuttle Program.

A pair of triangular stowage boxes had been carefully bolted between the braces on Atlantis' docking airlock for the STS-132 mission. The boxes were loaded with commemorative patches and flags. Tucked away inside the starboard side container were two CDs with digital versions of the patch designs submitted to NASA as entries in the contest to commemorate the Space Shuttle Program. Among the designs on the CDs was my patch artwork.

During its 12 days in space, the artwork made 186 orbits of the planet and traveled 4,879,978 miles.