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Space Shuttle Commemorative Patch Entry
Artist-supplied caption:

The design reflects upon the role that the Space Shuttle has served over the decades from 1981 to 2010, including the Earth, Space Station, and science missions penetrating the cosmos. An elliptically-shaped patch represents our galaxy. Gold lettering depicts the Shuttle's golden years that we are commemorating and for her warm value to all. The rising Shuttle thrusts away, its final voyage, but symbolically marks its departure as if in a Heavenly spiritual transition. She has now died. The huge launch vehicle is diminished in scale from the final returning Orbiter, which looms large in life during the final moments of her homeward flight, never to ascend, but to be present as a reminder of her greatness.

The land-landing design capability of this reusable spacecraft exudes a uniquely remarkable technical feat, one advancing the manned exploration of space, beyond anything we or any other nation has ever performed nor are about to duplicate for at the earliest, a very long time to come. Special interest is important to commemorate this great performance of a true flying machine as well as the last landing; the larger-sized Orbiter so signifies. We remember all our missions, STS-1 through STS-133, along with the number of flight crew flown on this marvelous flying machine, and the extensive time logged in space. Still we have in mind, forever reverently cast, our lost comrades aboard the Challenger and Columbia. Dates reflect the lives of those two spacecraft.

The Shuttle has served us well over the 1,XXX days in orbit, flown by YYY flight crew from XX different nations. The setting is against the colorless backdrop of black space, encompassed by the colors of the country that gave birth to the concept and saw it grow to fruition and maintain steadfast as severe challenges had to be conquered. Two of the colors are those of the NASA emblem, "The Meatball".

The moon tantalizes us with the prospect of science and knowledge yet to be gained, but still had been supported by the Shuttle. The Bright Spiral Galaxy, M81, symbolizes what awaits us in yet another tiny spec of the Universe, while being a product of a science payload, Shuttle launched. Stars in the background (to be added by the graphic artist) recall that her missions were unconstrained in principle.

That is how I propose to commemorate this wonderful Space Shuttle flying machine. May we always remember.
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