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  Soyuz TMA-14: Spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi's personal mission patch

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Author Topic:   Soyuz TMA-14: Spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi's personal mission patch
Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-05-2009 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

In an interview with collectSPACE earlier this week, Charles Simonyi described the insignia for his second flight to the International Space Station.

I have a new personal patch for this new mission. I took a quote from "Faust" -- "The Eternal Feminine draws us upward" -- as the motto for the trip. And [the patch] has a picture of the "Eternal Feminine" pushing the rocket up, making the abstract notion of lifting us, or elevating us, upward into the physical reality of launching into space.
On his first mission, Simonyi left a copy of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust" aboard the space station as the beginning of a library for the outpost.

Other elements of his Soyuz TMA-14 patch originated with his TMA-10 insignia.

His 2007 emblem was based on the slogan, "From Ideas to Reality" with the space station representing "reality" and the Pythagoras constellation symbolizing "ideas". The latter is repeated as part of his new patch.

The TMA-14 insignia is also the same shape as the earlier design, although the U.S., Hungarian and Russian flags comprising the diamond border have been amended to also include the Swedish flag. Simonyi was married in 2008 to Swedish socialite Lisa Persdotter.

teopze
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posted 02-06-2009 01:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for teopze   Click Here to Email teopze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's a great patch, one of the best I've seen

ShuttleDiscovery
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posted 02-07-2009 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ShuttleDiscovery   Click Here to Email ShuttleDiscovery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's certainly very similar to his previous patch. I like it.

robsouth
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posted 02-08-2009 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like the patch but I'm not so keen on the motto, 'Ex Luna, Scientia' was ok as a motto but to me this is just one step away from having Coca Cola or McDonalds appearing on space patches.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-08-2009 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I fail to see how citing a passage from classic literature equivocates to advertising.

For those unfamiliar, the quote is from the last two lines of "Faust", which in the original German concludes, "Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan". Simonyi's chosen translation is just one intrepretation. Others include: "The eternal feminine pulls us on" and "It is the eternal feminine, always attracting us to the higher."

Regardless the version, the "eternal feminine" is most often associated with a moral transcendence. Simonyi's patch seems to blend the literary reference to Faust's final redemption to heaven with the pre-Copernican notion of heaven existing beyond the Earth, hence the literal sense of the eternal feminine elevating the rocket skyward.

Shuttlefan
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posted 02-09-2009 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttlefan   Click Here to Email Shuttlefan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said Robert. Although it needs more than one thought what the quote has to do with space, one thing is for sure: Goethe┬┤s Faust has not much to do with modern brands or advertising. It is that symbol for German literature and "Dichter und Denker"-tradition and Germans who would know nearly nothing about their national literature could at least name this title, even if they never read a line of it. In former years you could not pass German grammar school without getting in touch with it. It includes a whole world of philosophical thoughts and deals especially with the question how science gets us to know and reign the world around us and what dangers and limits science has. Faust is the source for a lot of frequently used proverbs and sayings of German language. Maybe it were these facts that influenced Simonyi by choosing this line. Faust is not my favourite piece of drama, but it's influence on German thinking cannot be overestimated. Although there are some earlier versions, even long before Goethe, the final version of part I was published 1808, so Simonyi also celebrates a kind of 200 years of "Faust". As you said the eternal feminine can mean a lot in this context, surely scientia and luna as well. Why not choose it for space travel? Well done, Charles!

Chris

robsouth
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posted 02-11-2009 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My point was that once you start veering away from the traditional patches of just the image and names, you open the door for other things to be put on there, the start of the slippery slope.

hoorenz
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posted 02-12-2009 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you are on a slippery slope yourself now ;-)

KSCartist
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posted 02-12-2009 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The slope is only as slippery as the crew says it is, IMHO.

Remember every crew wants something special and after a few hundred spaceflights, it's more and more difficult.

Tim

robsouth
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posted 02-12-2009 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hoorenz:
I think you are on a slippery slope yourself now
Yeah you're probably right, it's about as likely as a spacewalking cosmonaut holding a large inflatable soft drinks can for an advert.

spaceman1953
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posted 02-12-2009 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go "cousin" Charles! Hope your friend Martha covers you on TV extensively like she did last time... but then again, her show might not be on anymore?!?!?!

Gene

FFrench
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posted 02-12-2009 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Probably good that Attorney General John Ashcroft isn't around any more... he'd want the woman heavily draped before entering the US part of the station...

robsouth
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posted 02-12-2009 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Am I missing something with Gene's reply!

NavySpaceFan
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posted 02-13-2009 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by robsouth:
Yeah you're probably right, it's about as likely as a spacewalking cosmonaut holding a large inflatable soft drinks can for an advert.
Rob, I think you are comparing apples and oranges here. The space agencies, NASA in particular, would never allow a commercial endorsement on a mission patch, and since they have the final say as to what goes and what doesn't, it will never happen. Look at the grief Anousheh Ansari caught just for having part of the Iranian flag on her patch. I feel literature quotations are just fine for patches. If I had the opportunity, I'd use a passage from Ulysses ("To strive, to seek to find, and not to yield.") on my patch.

Shuttlefan
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posted 02-13-2009 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttlefan   Click Here to Email Shuttlefan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If we go out there, we go back to our origin. Not only the earth is our cradle but the whole universe. We are born from stardust and we will be after our death. But if more and more of us will find a new home out there, if we colonize the solar system, we will live there with all the limitations and trivia of our daily life. There will be (in 500 years?) McDonald's and Hard Rock Cafe on Mars. You cannot separate space exploration from our whole cultural world. There's a treasure of quotes, music, symbols that would fit well for space flights and space patches. But just the bible and the works of Plato may not be enough for a journey to Mars, you may need something more trivial for your leisure time. Space is "in the beginning God" and "no handball playing" as well. I do not want the rockets painted in red like good old Coke style Santa, but give it a second thought what is getting these rockets up there in future. As said someone should judge about the dos and don'ts of space design, but without an open mind to all cultural influences on space exploration it may develop to that thing a lot of people regard as that we do not need, that costs way too much and that does not lead mankind anywhere. What goes out into space in the opening sequence of "Contact"? It's our daily life.

Chris

robsouth
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posted 02-13-2009 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So if you had the chance to put a motto on a mission patch that you was on what would your motto be?

FFrench
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posted 02-13-2009 10:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by robsouth: what would your motto be?

I'm reminded of the comedy routine (re)used in The Lion King, worthy of Bill Dana:

Young Simba - What's a motto?
Timon - Nothing. What's a motto with you?

hoorenz
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posted 03-10-2009 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has posted the TMA-14 Sokol-portraits, including this one, showing Simonyi's patch in detail.

All times are CT (US)

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