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  STS-51L crew-issued and flown mission patches (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   STS-51L crew-issued and flown mission patches
Liembo
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Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-18-2013 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lunarrv15:
I am gambling it is a rarity error patch or AB Emblem is unaware they are leaving out a star.
I would imagine the missing star is intentional (for what purposes, I don't know) as this is the version they sell on their own site.

lunarrv15
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Posts: 1311
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 11-19-2013 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess classified mine then as another variance patch.

Why they change/alter the design themselves, I would like to know.

Liembo
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Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-19-2013 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I posted an inquiry on their website contact form. We'll see what happens.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-20-2013 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A-B Emblem responded to my inquiry and long story short, they don't have any record as to why this change occurred.

Based on packaging, it would appear that the star went away at some point after 1990. However, when they switched to their alternate STS-51L (the kind as seen currently at KSC's online store and the kind packaged for the Astronaut Hall of Fame), they had the star intact. These versions can be identified by the missing gray line under the yellow "swoosh".

It appears that A-B is producing two versions of the STS-51L patch concurrently. The "classic" style (minus the star) on their website and through other vendors such as the Space Store, and the other version (dark gray border, missing gray line under swoosh) which they currently sell to KSC and some other vendors.

Other vendors:

  • Skyforce Patches: image shows classic with star
  • Space Boosters UK: image shows classic minus star
  • Spaceflight Now store: image shows new version
  • Spacetos.com: image shows classic minus star
  • thespaceoutlet.com: image shows classic minus star - actually stocks new version
  • spaceshoponline.com (GSFC): image shows classic with star
Based on this, and assuming what they show on their web page is actually representative of the patch they ship, I don't think the version missing the star is hard to find, it's the currently available version for that patch. The real mystery continues to be "why" it went away.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29583
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-20-2013 01:21 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 Liembo:
...assuming what they show on their web page is actually representative of the patch they ship
In most cases, if not all cases, it is an old image and not representative of the patch they ship. The star-less patch image just became the defacto representative of the AB Emblem STS-51L patch and hasn't been updated. The former Countdown Creations had the star-less patch also pictured, but never shipped that version.

Liembo
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Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-20-2013 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have put in inquiries to all of the above vendors to see if they can verify which version they have in stock.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-22-2013 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on information from A-B and my own digging around, it would appear that the photo that A-B prepared for their website as well as their vendors was distinct in the fact that it was missing the star, but it does not represent current stock (which is the version that lacks the gray line under the yellow swoosh). This photo was likely used by most online vendors because it was provided by A-B to them, but does not represent their actual stock, as Robert said.

What does that mean for the "missing star" version? I now am leaning more toward it looking more like this was a fairly limited production. Based on past and present eBay offerings, it does not come up very often, certainly less than 5% (I don't see any in the recent past or present based on my eBay search criteria).

It could be purely coincidence that A-B took a photo of one of these variations without even noticing the missing star.

Value? I am not sure what number of patches separates an "production error" from a legitimate, conscientious variation; ST3-103 "White sun" version seems to fetch a slightly higher premium, yet the STS-36 "Thout" error version does not command much of a bump.

mach3valkyrie
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Posts: 317
From: Albany, Oregon USA
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 11-22-2013 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Willabee & Ward presentation pages for the space program used A-B emblems and I recently bought a 51-L of theirs that had the missing star. I think there's quite a few of these missing star patches out there.

Liembo
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Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-22-2013 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The W&W sets use both versions, but I will say that the distribution among those sets, based on a sample from eBay current and recent pasty, indicates it's a higher percentage than the loose ones on eBay.

Liembo
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Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-24-2013 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A "mock white tail/missing star" versions is on eBay, item 111225231471.

It has the more modern dark border thread.

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 517
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 12-10-2013 01:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A 7th example of the STS-51L 'Crew Issued Hybrid' patch with the 'white' sew on tab, has just been sold in a mixed lot of mostly Swissartex Shuttle patches in KSC packets. Lot No.161166108890.

Liem, can you post the images you sent me here to show this example maybe a variant patch, many thanks.

Liembo
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Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 12-10-2013 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suspected it was the hybrid based on the light edge of the tab and asked the seller for a backside photo, which he abliged. The photo he sent me is the top left photo:

I suggested he'd get better traction with his auction if he posted the backside photo to his auction, but very much to Kevin's good luck, he did not!

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29583
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-10-2013 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So what does this mean for the rarity of the "hybrid" patch? Previously it was thought to be limited to the crew only, and now we have examples showing up in private collections and even packaged for retail sale.

Was too much assumed by the few Resnik-family sourced examples? Could they have been retail patches that she or her family were given (or even bought)?

Clearly, the hybrid is rarer than the standard gray-backed-tab souvenir, but could that just be a factor of the many more years the souvenir has been in production?

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 517
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 12-10-2013 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is only the 7th example of this 'Hybrid' patch that I know about to come onto the secondary market. It was just this time last year that 3 of the 4 'Resnik' family examples were put up for sale, the 4th was in January this year. The 5th was found in amongst a collection from an USAF Officer who was linked to the Shuttle Program. The 6th was found in a sealed KSC retail packet dated February 1988. And the 7th was from an accumulation which may well have come from the Kennedy Space Center Souvenir Shop.

I have a feeling that the 6th and 7th were probably remains of the original production run made by AB Emblem for the crew of the Challenger, and were simply left-overs found and put into KSC packets to make up an order to sell at the Kennedy Space Center.

I still think this 'Hybrid' version of the STS-51L patch is still an early rare limited production run of maybe 50 or 100 patches. I have a feeling now that we know what to look for, more will turn up over the next few years.

I'm still looking very hard for the 'Full White' twill version, like the ones found in the presentation pieces made up after the recovery of the Official Flight Kit. I am hoping one or two of these will turn up in similar circumstances to these last two 'Hybrid' patches.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29583
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-10-2013 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the full-white-backed patches were indeed limited to the OFK, then any examples that turn up could be stolen from the debris. At least one package of the patches, still sealed in plastic, was recovered from the water after it floated up the East Coast to New England, if I recall correctly. The package was ultimately turned over to NASA, but I don't recall reading if the full contents of the OFK were recovered.

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 517
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 12-10-2013 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I feel a few, what we call 'production over-runs', or a spare pack or two not used for the OFK, will of been put into KSC retail packets to complete an order from the Kennedy Space Center visitors shop, (like the 'Hybrid' patch found sealed in the KSC packet dated February 1988).

Liembo
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Posts: 139
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 02-08-2014 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have purchased another hybrid patch in an auction on ebay in a mixed lot of other random STS/Apollo common/coated patches, I believe that makes for 8 known articles. I am selling it on eBay this evening.

lunarrv15
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Posts: 1311
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 05-10-2014 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Liembo:
I don't think the version missing the star is hard to find, it's the currently available version for that patch.
Another 51L missing star on eBay (141280310653) was sold as a collection through Willabee & Ward.


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