This site covers the patches for all US manned missions prior to
the Space Shuttle. It does not cover Shuttle mission or ISS expedition
patches (though a reference section that provides images of these
patches is available via the "later patches" link at the
top of each page); nor patches for Soviet missions or unmanned missions.
Some of the "unofficial" patches created during this era
There are basically two sections to this site: a set of background
pages which discuss patches in general (links to these pages are
located on the navigation bar at the top of the page); and a set
of "detail" pages, each devoted to a single patch. "Index"
pages, one per project (links to which are on the left navigation
bar), include a précis of each flight and a "thumbnail"
patch image. Clicking on the thumbnail patch image will take you
to the corresponding detail page.
Content of the Detail Pages
Each of the detail pages includes the following:
- A "standardized" image of the patch in the upper left
corner. This is created from the original artwork obtained from
NASA. They are all approximately the same size, and have been
processed to remove artifacts introduced by the photographic process
and subsequent digitization, and to clean up imperfections in
the original artwork.
- An enumeration of the crew, and the dates of the flight.
- The persons involved in the creation of the patch. In all cases
in which the crew did not create the design, they did provide
critical input, and had final approval of the design.
- denotes the persons who created the general
design of the patch.
- denotes the person who created the final
artwork based on a design provided.
- denotes a person, usually commissioned by the
crew, who designed the patch -- with input and feedback from
the crew -- and who provided the final artwork.
- Source Material
- denotes an artist whose work inspired
some aspect of the design, but was not involved in the design of
- A description of the design, including any symbolism involved
and, where available, background on how the patch was designed.
- An image of the original artwork, as provided through a NASA
press release image. In the case of four Gemini missions, no original
artwork is available, and the image is of an "original"
embroidered patch. The caption for this image includes a link
to the digitized image.
- For all missions beginning with Apollo 7, an image of the patch
as silk-screened onto beta cloth for use on the flight. (Beta
cloth patches did not exist prior to Apollo 7.)
- One or more photos of embroidered forms of the patch. In most
cases these are approximately 4" in diameter. 3" versions
(which are not included here) are all souvenir versions, and are
usually of lower fidelity.
- In the case of the first Skylab crew patch, there is an additional
page which contains an article written
by Frank Kelly Freas about how he designed the patch. Inclusion
of this article is made possible by the generous permission of
Frank Kelly Freas, who retains copyright to the article.
Getting Around the Site
- The "background" sections of this site are accessed
by clicking on the words in the navigation bar at the top of each
- The buttons in the navigation bar to the left will take you
to the index pages for each manned flight program. From the index
page, you can click on the mission name or on the patch illustration
to get to the detail page for that mission.
- Each patch detail page has buttons at the bottom of the page
that will take you to the detail page for the next or previous
- There is also an "Index Window" that can be opened
using the "index window" link at the top of each page.
Clicking on this link will open a separate browser window with
images of all of the available patches. You can click on any patch
image to be taken directly to the detail page for that mission.
This page copyright © 2000-2008 Eugene Dorr.
All rights reserved.