The red path symbolizes the life cycle of the shuttle program from the inception to completion. Three silhouettes commemorate the major achievements of the space shuttle program in chronological order: MIR, HUBBLE, and the International Space Station. The phrase inscribed on the patch, "Mon est ad astra molis e terries via." Is Latin for "There is no easy way from the earth to the stars." Latin is used to give the shuttle program a rightful place in history. This phrase was chosen to honor the many men and women who dedicated their lives to the challenging and noble pursuit of space exploration.
In the design, the 17 stars represent the 17 astronauts who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of space exploration.