The concept is simple--remember life at every hour. The patch commemorates the life of the orbiter and the lives of those astronauts lost onboard Challenger and Columbia. Through life, memories are made, and the success of the Space Shuttle Program is remembered.
In graphic form, the patch is a sundial. The years 1981 (the first shuttle launch) and 2010 (the last) are fitted at the two edges. The space shuttle orbiter is shown as a blueprint--the beginning--embarking on a journey into a sunset--the end. The two gold shuttles flanking the patch represent Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003). And the seven stars represent the crew of seven from those two flights. The center star is slightly larger to accentuate the center of the sundial. The shuttle is the main object of the sundial (the tail being the gnomon) and it pulls the seven stars forward as it flies. However, the shuttle does not cast a shadow in the design--its legacy is vivid. And the last element of the patch sums up the overall concept with the Latin verse, Tempus omnia sed memorias privat--time deprives all but memories.