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[i]NASA astronauts all have a blue and gold patch on the right shoulder of their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU), or spacesuits, when they venture outside the space shuttle on extravehicular activities (EVAs), or spacewalks.
The theme of the patch is "Extending the Dimensions of Man." It is derived from the Leonardo da Vinci sketch entitled "The Dimensions of Man" and is meant to be an extension of the dimensional, medical and scientific aspects of the original work.
It is fitting that the theme of the patch is associated with the original da Vinci work since the evolution of the space shuttle EMU from its Gemini, Apollo and Skylab origins represents the closest achievement of the ultimate EMU design goal — that of providing EVA mobility limited not by hardware but by man's natural range.
The three stars on the patch represent three historic milestones in extravehicular activity: America's first EVA by Ed White on Gemini IV; man's first steps on the lunar surface, made possible by the Apollo space suit worn by Neil Armstrong and the space walks of Pete Conrad and Joe Kerwin to repair, and eventually save, Skylab.
The Space Shuttle EVA patch was conceived and designed by Fred Keune, manager of Hamilton Standard's Houston office at the start of the space shuttle program, and Walter J. Wick, M.D., Hamilton Standard's medical director.
The Shuttle EMU suits first flew on STS-5, but on that flight there were some problems with the suits, so the spacewalk was cancelled. On the next flight, STS-6 the first EVA from the Space Shuttle took place, and on that flight the EVA patch first "flew" in space.[/i]
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