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Section Two: Astronaut Artifacts
Original Concept Artwork for the STS-6 Challenger Mission Insignia


This original, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork was produced for crew of STS-6, the maiden flight of Challenger, as they came close to finalizing the design of their insignia.

In fact, the only major difference between this design and the final artwork is the placement of the five small and one large stars — the constellation Virgo — which was meant to symbolize the sixth shuttle mission and first flight of the OV-99 orbiter.

Depicted above Challenger's payload bay is the combined inertial Upper Stage (IUS) and a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite. STS-6 was the first use of the IUS rocket, which carried the first TDRS to a geosynchronous orbit of 24,000 statute miles.

This artwork was saved by mission commander Paul Weitz and comes from his personal collection.

In the above image, the artwork's edges have been slightly cropped. This is not present on the actual piece.


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