With this being the last Shuttle flight, I wanted to pay tribute to each orbiter in the Shuttle program by showing six orbiters on the patch along with the names of each vehicle. Five orbiters are shown leaving the earth representing each orbiter that has flown in space. The Enterprise is shown on the earth because although it never flew out in space, it earned its place among the stars.
There are 14 stars on the patch. Seven near the Challenger and seven near the Columbia representing the 14 astronauts who gave up their lives for space exploration. (If there is space we could include the names of each of the 14 astronauts who died).
I wanted to include the names of each major company that contributed to the Shuttle Program (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and Alliant Techsystems) showing both past and present names - so that each would be remembered as being a major part of the program.
I included the astronaut's symbol with the colors of the American Flag, red, white and blue representing all the astronauts that participated in the program.
1981-2010 Decades of Achievements indicating the Life span of the Shuttle Program
Along with our accomplishment where we "Established new frontiers in research and space exploration - Mission Accomplished".
Included is a section for the names of the astronauts on this last mission.