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  Mach 25 patch: collectible or contraband? (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Mach 25 patch: collectible or contraband?
sts205cdr
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From: Sacramento, CA
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posted 06-26-2001 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mach 25 patch: collectible or contraband?

Also, I've heard that this patch was created by Rick Hauck and is made by AB Emblems. Does anyone have any info on this?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-26-2001 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to "Space Patches: From Mercury to the Space Shuttle" by Judith Kaplan and Robert Muniz, the Mach 25 patch is:
...not available to the general public. Not even all astronauts qualify to wear this patch, since a ride in the Shuttle is a prerequisite to ownership.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 08-19-2001 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have the name somewhere else, but when I bought a Mir program patch from the company that supplied them to the STS-86 and -89 crews, I was also told that Rick Hauck designed the patch, and as such, was a private issue, not a NASA issued patch.

sts205cdr
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posted 08-20-2001 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Hart, I'm sure it was you who told me about Rick Hauck being the one who originated the patch.

pokey
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posted 08-22-2001 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It probably goes something like just because I bought a Purple Heart medal doesn't mean I earned the right to wear it in its proper context.

A rookie is given the Mach 25 patch by their commander after they come back to earth. This usually is done during the Space Center Houston debrief/awards event after each flight.

erik
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posted 10-21-2001 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for erik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Picked up an original myself at eBay for $75, about two years ago. So never say never, just keep your eyes open.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-03-2004 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sts205cdr:
Also, I've heard that this patch was created by Rick Hauck...

The answer directly from Rick Hauck: "In fact Dan Brandenstein and Jim Buchli deserve that credit."

keith.wilson
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From: Callander, Stirling, Scotland
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posted 08-06-2004 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for keith.wilson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have photos of the different Mach 25 patches? I have one but have no idea if it is an original (unlikely I guess) or a replica.

hoorenz
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posted 08-07-2004 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've posted mine in large format.

I believe it is an original, though "early" because it has very thick, early AB Emblem style thread. Never seen it anywhere else in this form, the Space Realm seen more often version is of "Taiwan-quality."

I can vaguely remember discussing this patch with another collector some 10 years ago and he told me that another souvenir also existed, cannot remember who this collector was and cannot remember the source of the patch. I did see a version with a large white outer border (was it you, Hart?), so that probably was the second version he referred to.

Donnis Willis also has an original. His is attached to a Overmyer suit he won in an auction, so it is definitely original. I think his patch is a little "finer" than what you usually see in the NASA pictures, especially in the red embroidery, but is also more heavily used and washed.

Since I noticed my patch was a little different, I did some research some time ago using photographs, and believe the patches were made in several batches.

A way to see if it was made using at the same artwork, is to look for imperfections. I do see some similarities between Donnis' version and mine — probably they simply used thinner or less red thread, or another machine.

I also have a picture somewhere of Randy Wagner's version, I will try to locate it. Must have been "a couple of computers back," so I will have to dig for it.

To round things up: the earliest NASA photograph I have found showing the patch, is Bob Crippen aboard a KC-135 during training for 41G. Next picture I believe is Brandenstein with T-38 training for original 51A or 51D, which later became 51G. So I guess the patch was introduced somewhere in the summer of 1984.

Hope this info helps.

Oh, and did anyone notice they "recycled" the image of the STS-2 patch for the shuttle?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 08-08-2004 12:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hoorenz:
I did see a version with a large white outer border (was it you, Hart?), so that probably was the second version he referred to.
Unfortunately, with stuff happening — including four moves in the past year — my 25 Mach patch is in storage. If I can get to it, I'll see what it looks like.

J.L
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posted 03-23-2011 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anyone see the Mach 25 patch on eBay that sold for $405 the other day. It was item 360351875176. My patch consultant tells me it was a reproduction. Any thoughts?

hoorenz
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posted 03-23-2011 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fake. Produced by Bill Grush of Star Realm. He sold these for 25 dollars in the nineties.

benguttery
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posted 03-25-2011 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was the lucky recipient of this Mach 25 patch. I obviously thought it was good or I would not have bid so much on it. I guess the others 12 bidders thought the same.

These were made in such small quantities, there are many different variations. I have images of at least six different ones.

I'd appreciate seeing the actual one Mr. Grush sold if anyone has access to one. I have asked the seller to provide source information to me. My dilemma will be if it was made by Star Realm and was actually worn by an astronaut. The patch shows signs of having been sewn onto something.

Kevin T. Randall
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posted 03-26-2011 02:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I acquired two of these patches in April 1990 when I was at the Space Camp ([Acadamy] for the older ones), in Huntsville Alabama. Mine are slightly different again to Erik's image and the one you won Ben. They could be one of the other six?

benguttery
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posted 03-28-2011 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mach 25 patch questions:
  • EARLIEST IMAGES — The earliest portrait image I've found was of Loren Shriver (NASA Photo ID: S86-36394). Note the blue on his patch is much lighter than later versions. The earliest crew photo I've found that shows the Mach 25 patch is from STS-50 (NASA Photo ID: STS050(S)002) on 25 June 1992. Mission Commander Dick Richards is wearing one above his name plate on his blue flight suit. I expect there are more candid photos out there. What is the earliest image of the Mach 25 patch?

  • SIZE — In the above group photo, the patch looks to be smaller than today's version. Compare it to the size of the 2x4 inch embroidered name tag. Did the size of the patch change at some point? In the earliest images, the patch seems slightly smaller. Why?

  • HISTORY — This patch has been attributed to Hauck, Brandenstein, and Buchli. All these guys are still around. Any thoughts on who best to ask? I'm planning on asking them all.

  • TODAY — Now it's hard to find a crew portrait without a couple astronauts wearing them. There is a group photo of the STS-133 crew in front of T-38s at KSC and they each have a Mach 25 or 100 Days patch. Nicole Stott has both!

hoorenz
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posted 03-29-2011 12:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Earliest picture: never did a good research, but I remember this as one of the first: S84-37536 (Crippen, July 1984). I believe STS-28 (Shaw, Leestma) already had the patch in the crew portrait.

benguttery
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posted 03-29-2011 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are right. There is a picture of Crippen while training for STS-41G (S84-37536) from July 16, 1984. The STS-28 Crew picture (S89-29370) shows both Shaw and Leestma wearing their patches. Note that Shaw’s patch appears smaller than Leestma’s.

JLR1
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posted 12-20-2011 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JLR1   Click Here to Email JLR1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Picked this up recently at an antique mall. I have read earlier posts here regarding "real vs fake." I would like to hear from the group on what you think about this one.

I have no provenance as it was from a case in a mall where dealers aren't always present.

Kevin T. Randall
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posted 12-20-2011 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that one looks like a good one to me, a near match to the ones I have, which I know are real.

I know Ben is doing a study on these patches and their variants, he will be posting his findings when completed.

Spaceguy5
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posted 03-21-2012 12:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there any sources for a reasonable reproduction of these? I know there's a company in Malaysia selling reproductions on eBay, but the orbiter artwork is terribly, terribly inaccurate (and painful to look at).

GoesTo11
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posted 03-21-2012 12:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Define "reasonable." There are no licensed reproductions of the Mach 25 patch out there so far as I know, so any reproduction you buy, no matter the accuracy of the artwork, is by definition contraband. If I'm wrong on this, I'm sure I'll be corrected forthwith.

p51
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posted 03-21-2012 12:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The good reproductions ARE out there, I just can't give you a vendor. But I know they're out there as I've seen them in the past for sale and not the Malaysian ones. I saw a very good reproduction on eBay about two months or so ago. I regret not bidding for it now...

Spaceguy5
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posted 03-21-2012 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reasonable meaning a reproduction that at least resembles the patch. The Malaysian reproduction did a terrible job selecting artwork for the orbiter so it hardly resembles the actual patch.

On edit: I see, the Malaysian patch is based off of the image JLR1 posted (above). However they must have just copied the patch into Illustrator and did a Live Trace or something because there's a huge detail loss. Though of course, even the patch in that thread lacks a bit of detail compared to an authentic one, so each time its being copied, detail is lost.

hoorenz
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posted 03-21-2012 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JLR1:
Picked this up recently at an antique mall...
Looks like the souvenir $25 Bill Grush/Star Realm version to me.

Spaceguy5
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posted 03-21-2012 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, it certainly doesn't match authentic ones I've seen in pictures on actual astronauts. The biggest give away is the OMS pod.

Gonzo
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posted 04-04-2012 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Guys, I've been looking at my collection lately and found my version of this patch. When I bought it in May 1991, I got it from Eagle One Aerospace.

I remember getting the letter in the mail from Dan (the owner of E1A) telling me that one of his "buddies," a shuttle pilot, was cleaning his dresser had donated six of them to him. Dan then sent letters to his frequent customers. I was one and bought it the same day via a check and USPS (no email back then). I paid $35 for it.

So, here's my question, from what I was told by Dan and where it came from, is it real?

Spaceguy5
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posted 04-04-2012 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have you tried comparing it to pictures of the real deal? I think that's the best way to judge. I only know of two reproductions floating around, and one of them is blatantly fake while the other (which is pictured above in JLR1's post) has minor details that are easy to spot if you compare pictures of it side-by-side with pictures of the real patch.

Gonzo
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posted 04-04-2012 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hence my question.

The first pic at the top appears to show an embroidered light blue background. It's kind of hard to tell due to the pic being light.

The second set of pics, those that show the front and back, appear to have a cloth light blue background. Mine is embroidered.

So, despite the lightness of that first pic, it looks almost identical to that one. It's certainly much more like the first one than the second set.

Spaceguy5
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posted 04-04-2012 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd suggest trying to look for high-resolution pictures of astronauts wearing the patch. Also, here's a pretty good one of the patch on Bob Cenker's flight jacket.

Gonzo
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posted 04-04-2012 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. Note that in that pic of Bob Cenker, the background is embroidered vs. cloth. The one in the pic set showing the front and back has a cloth background you can use for reference.

So, from all I've seen (and considering the documents I have from when I got it), mine should be confirmed to be an original. Cool!

Thanks for the good news all!

Go4Launch
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posted 04-04-2012 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would note for the record that Eagle One Aerospace was owned and operated by the late Randy Wagner. I was fairly close to Randy but don't remember a Dan.

Gonzo
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posted 04-05-2012 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I went back and found my records. I bought my patch from Dan Clark who owned/operated Spaceland Enterprises. He lived and ran his company from Merritt Island. Sorry, my previous post was from memory.

Spaceguy5
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posted 05-25-2012 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally got my replica finished. I had to make quite a few practice ones as I kept running into design errors, but I think the final version is more than close enough.

Spaceguy5
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posted 05-26-2012 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On eBay, the Malaysian ones are listed as being about 2.7" wide. Based on photos, most of the real patches are just barely over 2" wide (about the same height as the name tag, which is a few mm over 2").

The image of the orbiter also seems to just barely vary on different patches. The orbiter is obviously taken from the STS-2 patch, but the artwork was highly simplified so that it would fit on a very small scale. Most of the details on the orbiter look like they are made up of two or so layers of thread and nothing more.

For placement on clothing, it seems on flight suits, most are placed underneath the name plate either in the center or towards the zipper, and some are placed above the name plate. I haven't seen many on flight jackets, although in most pictures I've seen, it's placed above.

benguttery
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posted 05-27-2012 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hoorenz:
Produced by Bill Grush of Star Realm.
I spoke to Mr. Grush a few times related to this. He replied:
I was offered the Mach 25 as an extension order of one being produced for another 'customer.' I believe that customer to be NASA or whoever orders them for the astronauts! I ordered them in total blind faith and was never sorry; as no one other than myself has ever had them available to the public to my knowledge. I was fearful enough of their genuineness that I never advertised or offered very often and even limited distribution of my catalog in the early 1990s for that reason. I have only circumstantial and anecdotal information but nothing has contradicted my assertions. It also appears that soon thereafter sometime in the 1990s that NASA increased the size of the Mach 25 as they realized that some legit ones had gotten out and the patch had always been jealously guarded!
These patches were not official. They were patches for an informal club that probably didn't have any formal art or design standards. It is my expectation they were made in very small batches as cheaply as possible. I would not be surprised at all if Mr. Grush or anyone would have been given the opportunity to buy some to reduce the overall unit price when a larger order was being made.

I was putting together a compilation of photos of these patches along with the wearers name tag. In going through those, almost all the patches are now very uniform in size and quality. It is the older patches that vary the most.

hoorenz
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posted 05-27-2012 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that is almost exactly the story he told me when I ordered mine some 15 years ago from him (for 25 dollars a piece) although in that version, he stated (or I understood) that he had actively ordered the Mach 25 patches and was told at that time by the embroiderer that by coincidence, they already had that file in their archives, and indeed, that they believed the other customer was NASA.

For me, it was easy to see that these patches were nothing like NASA astronauts had ever worn, so I knew something about that story was not right.

Gonzo
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posted 05-27-2012 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay. Edge to edge, my patch is 2.25" high and 3" wide, ignoring the extra width caused by the orbiters nose sticking out beyond the edge of the patch. If you then take into account that the patch is a parallelogram, overall, the patch is 3.75" wide.

Gonzo
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posted 05-27-2012 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you go back and read my earlier post, what I was told about my patch, which we've shown to be original, was that it came from a shuttle pilot. At that time, because these really aren't considered patches but rather qualification badges, they were controlled by NASA and only given to those that have flown at Mach 25 under controlled flight. And that is why only shuttle crews qualified to receive this "badge". We've also shown that it was common practice for the crew commander to hand them out to the crew during the outbrief.

All that being said, at that time the ONLY place you could get them (official ones anyway) was from NASA, any others were merely replicas of the real thing.

benguttery
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posted 05-28-2012 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-28 crew photo shows that there are differing sizes of these patches.

These are patches belonging to a club of people who flew Mach 25. Note also a Mach 26 patch and an ISS 100 days patch similarly designed.

These are not qualification badges like a military sharpshooter would receive. Further, I do not think anyone at NASA would tell you these are official.

Gonzo
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posted 05-29-2012 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben, I'm not trying to be argumentative here. But I apparently need to clarify.

You are correct that there are differing sizes and also a Mach 26 badge as well. (Although, most of these are a standard size, 2.25" x 3".) It depends on which crew and when they received their badge.

However, what I was trying to differentiate was the "official" badges from the reproductions. The "official" ones are only available from NASA, the reproductions can be obtained from a lot of sources.

What's important here to us as collectors is the origin of the patch you may have in your collection. The "official" ones, from NASA having much more value due to their rarity and control on distribution than the reproductions.


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