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Author Topic:   Space Transportation System (STS) logo tabs
Harald Kraenzel
Member

Posts: 286
From: Dinslaken,Germany
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 11-11-2006 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some time ago I was able to buy a couple of the embroidered tabs that were to be worn along the bottom of the space shuttle program insignia to identify the component or flight program that the wearer was assigned to work.

The original plan also called for these golden-bordered red patches to show the shuttle mission number. The astronauts rejected that plan however, and individual mission patches were designed as a result.

Does anyone know which tabs were ultimately made and maybe where I can buy them?

spaceman
Member

Posts: 961
From: Walsall, West Midlands, UK
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 11-12-2006 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman   Click Here to Email spaceman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have a photo(s) of NASA personnel wearing said patches in the vicinity of an astronaut etc? It adds another avenue to a space patch collection.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 414
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 11-12-2006 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have 14 such patches, including: United States Navy, Spacelab, Payloads, Upper Stages, Orbital Flight Test, and Marshall Space Flight Center.

I also have one, oddly enough, that reads Project Explorer. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the old Explorer satellite program, but I've never been able to identify what it was made for.

Stickers were made for some of the above, as well as for Operations and Cargo Operations.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29292
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-12-2006 11:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Project Explorer was the first attempt at broadcasting digitized voice signals via a Space Shuttle flight on amateur radio frequencies. It flew on STS-61C / Columbia in January 1986.

Harald Kraenzel
Member

Posts: 286
From: Dinslaken,Germany
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 11-13-2006 02:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Go4Launch:
...United States Navy, Spacelab, Payloads, Upper Stages, Orbital Flight Test, and Marshall Space Flight Center.
John, many thanks for this listing. I will watch for those. Maybe I am lucky enough to find them in the future.

benguttery
Member

Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-05-2007 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone have a full list of these "tabs?"

hoorenz
Member

Posts: 807
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 05-08-2007 05:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are the ones I've seen or heard of so far:
  • United States Navy
  • Spacelab
  • Payloads
  • Upper Stages
  • Orbital Flight Test
  • Approach and Landing Test
  • Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Headquarters
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Johnson Space Center
  • Space Shuttle Main Engine
  • Orbiter
  • Solid Rocket Motor
  • Project Explorer
  • Alabama Space and Rocket Center

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2394
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-04-2008 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The earliest Shuttle patches were the rectangular aprons that were to go underneath the program emblem. Don't know if this was ever made to a patch, but I saw on eBay (item 250289044615), as part of a 1979 Shuttle document, one I haven't seen before: Cargo Projects.

Editor's note: threads merged.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 512
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 02-12-2009 06:17 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've just won and taken delivery on another 'Tab', (the 15th) to add to your list Erik. This one is 'ALABAMA SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER'. This was eBay lot No. 220349618910. I didn't post this earlier because I wanted to check it against the others I have, it matches.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 414
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-20-2009 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While the Alabama Space and Rocket Center patch does appear to have beem made by AB Emblem, it's doubtful it was one of the patches originally made for use as part of the abandonded shuttle project emblem tab concept. It's hard to imagine a shuttle crewmwmber wearing that as an indentifier for any official NASA business. My supposition is that the Space and Rocket Center had them made for any employees who wore shuttle-syle jump suits there or perhaps for Space Camp jump suits.

hoorenz
Member

Posts: 807
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 02-20-2009 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is exactly why I did not include it in the list at first. But with this sidenote, well, why not.

tombohnstedt
Member

Posts: 19
From: Pasadena, California, USA
Registered: Jan 2010

posted 02-11-2010 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tombohnstedt   Click Here to Email tombohnstedt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Somebody feel free to correct me if I am wrong about this, but it seems like in the dim recesses of my memory, there was a rumor during the development of the shuttle program that there would also not be any individual mission patches because the shuttle was supposed to make space flight truly 'routine', therefore the overall shuttle program emblem would suffice. Kind of like that bizarre flight numbering system that ended with STS-51-L. But before STS-1 even flew NASA decided to allow the mission emblem tradition to continue on. True? Not True?

Editor's note: Threads merged

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2592
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-11-2010 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have an early 1980's letter from Vance Brand who in response to my request about designing the crew patch for his next flight (STS-5) said that NASA was considering not having individual mission patches. So you are correct that the idea was officially under review for a time. Sure glad that didn't happen!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2394
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-11-2010 10:09 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 tombohnstedt:
But before STS-1 even flew NASA decided to allow the mission emblem tradition to continue on. True? Not True?
Wasn't the idea to use the Shuttle program triangle, and then underneath that either to use the tabs, or a bigger block with payload (not crew) information? It would be interesting to see what the concept would look like, if any prototypes were made.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1128
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 02-11-2010 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding is indeed that early in the shuttle program, when people were still talking with straight faces about 20+ flights a year, there was some pressure from NASA management to do away with mission-specific insignia... but fortunately tradition, and the astronauts' understandable desire give their missions individual identities, won out.

As for the "bizarre" flight designations that began with 41-B/STS-10, COL Mike Mullane stated flatly in Riding Rockets that NASA implemented that ludicrous system solely because it didn't want to launch an STS-13. Unlike COL Mullane, I suspect that management's skittishness over this had far less to do with superstition than it did with trepidation over the prospect of the agency, and that mission's crew, having to endlessly endure asinine press inquiries on the subject.

quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
It would be interesting to see what the concept would look like, if any prototypes were made.

p51
Member

Posts: 988
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 03-25-2014 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just won this on eBay.

Seems odd that 'tabs' for the orbiter program patch would be red and not blue to match the program patch itself.

quote:
Originally posted by Kevin T. Randall:
I've just won and taken delivery on another 'Tab', (the 15th) to add to your list Erik. This one is 'ALABAMA SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER'.
That's actually a patch used on Space Camp flight suits before they went to the red-white-blue 'NASA visitor center' patch they use now, changed the same time they went to the round orbiter logo, sometime after 1986. It is exactly the same colors as these tabs, but not from the program mentioned in this thread. I have a few of them myself as part of my Space Camp stuff collection...

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 445
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 03-25-2014 11:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those look like the set of replicas I have, I want to say they were made by Eagle One Aerospace? It has been a long time since I bought them... a very long time.

Edit: Here is a scan of them:

I have always wondered what was to be on them. I had always assumed it would be mission number like STS-17 and didn't think of payload. So we would have a bunch of red boxes with TDRSS-1, Galileo Probe, Spacelab 1, etc., instead of the beautiful artwork we have now. Glad they decided against them.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 375
From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 03-30-2014 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On eBay there's another tab to add to this "set" — The Alabama Space and Rocket Center. I think that there is a Stennis tab, but haven't seen it for sale.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29292
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-30-2014 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As noted above, the Alabama Space and Rocket Center tab is not part of this set. It is rather a vintage Space Camp patch that was designed to look like part of this set.

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 659
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 03-30-2014 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
As for the "bizarre" flight designations...
I wouldn't call it that, it was practical and easy to use for those dealing with the payloads and mission development and design.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1128
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 03-30-2014 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the risk of taking a patch thread too far afield... I have to respectfully disagree, Jim. I thought the alphanumeric system was absurd in 1984, and it strikes me as no less so in hindsight.

I'm not sure what functional advantage that system offered NASA and its contractors during the workflow and operation of the 16 flights it covered... but through the myriad challenges the program faced from STS-26 onward, the numerically sequential system seemed to work fine.

Whatever NASA's motivation for introducing it, the alphanumeric system struck me as needlessly complicating an already difficult subject for both the public and the press.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2394
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-30-2014 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was in fact, two designations for every shuttle flight from 41C to 51L. There was a numeric designation, indicating its flight number. Mission 51L was also known as STS-33, eight flights having been canceled.

The second designation, the number plus letter, referred to not only the intended fiscal year of launch and intended flight number and launch site — 51L was intended to be the 12th flight of the 1985 fiscal year from KSC — it also referred to its payload. So 51D (originally) was the LDEF retrieval flight, and that was true whether or not it was under Bobko-Williams or Brandenstein-Creighton. 51L was the Teacher-in-Space flight, whether that was flown by Gibson-Bolden or Scobee-Smith.

With all the changes in the shuttle schedule — Cleave said she worked with about 20 different payloads in training — I can see how the alphanumeric designation was a clarifier, not a way to muddle things up.

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