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  Apollo-Soyuz program patch variants and versions

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Author Topic:   Apollo-Soyuz program patch variants and versions
Kenny
Member

Posts: 14
From: Johnson City, Tennessee USA
Registered: Nov 2013

posted 11-15-2013 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kenny   Click Here to Email Kenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi! I'm a new member to this forum.

My father was working at NASA-JSC at the time of the Apollo-Soyuz mission, but for some reason he never received an Apollo-Soyuz program patch from NASA. So I'd like to find a 1975 vintage NASA-issued patch that could fill this "hole" in his collection.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find very much information about these patches on the internet, on the Crew Patches and Space Patch Database websites, or on this forum. So I'd appreciate any help you can give me in my attempt to identify vintage examples of this particular patch.

I currently own two versions of this patch. One is 4 inches (103mm) in width with a cloth back, and the other is 3-3/8 inches (86mm) in width with a plastic back. I assume that both were manufactured by A-B Emblems, although I don't know this for sure.

The smaller example on the left was purchased (by me, not my father) in the late 1980's at JSC, as my first attempt to fill the hole in my dad's collection. The sales brochure for this patch (which I still have) describes it as the "large" version even though it is only 3-3/8 inches in width. There was no "small" version available. It appears to be identical in design and size to older vintage (cloth backed?) examples that show up on eBay from time to time, like this one on the right manufactured by A-B Emblems (according to the back of the package):

My first question is: were commercially available Apollo-Soyuz program patches by A-B Emblems (as in the eBay example above) always of this design and 3-3/8 inch size? Or were larger (4 inch) versions of this patch commercially available from A-B? Notice that the package does not say that this is a "souvenir" version of the patch, as vintage packages often did with the 3 inch Apollo patches.

Regarding the larger (4 inch) cloth backed Apollo-Soyuz patch from my collection (on the right in the photo at the top of this post): it resembles the patch worn in the Apollo-Soyuz crew photo here.

(This photo can be expanded to observe greater detail in the patches.)

The official crew patches in the NASA photo and the patch from my collection both have a squared Cyrillic "3" character unlike the more rounded "3" on the smaller 3-3/8 inch patch. At the same time, however, there appear to be some differences between the patches in the NASA photo and the 4 inch patch from my collection. Notice, for instance, the distance between the ends of the Cyrillic "C" character. In the NASA photo the distance appears to be smaller than the distance on the patch in my collection. You may notice other differences -- if so, please post them.

This leads to my second question, which is: do any collectors on this forum have examples of flown Apollo-Soyuz program patches they can show, or patches from "official" NASA presentations from 1975? I'd like to learn how to identify a legitimate "crew" (or NASA) example (which I assume was 4 inches in width) from an early 4 inch cloth-backed "commercial" example -- assuming such a commercial version of the patch exists.

So to sum up, I'm trying to determine whether the 4-inch version of this patch in my collection is the same version of the patch that was given to NASA employees (and the crew?) at the time of the mission, and can thus legitimately fill the hole in my dad's collection.

Was this 4 inch version of the patch also available commercially? If so, I have a final question: do any of you have a 4 inch cloth-backed example still in its original commercial packaging that you can post for comparison?

I should point out that I'm only talking about the "official" NASA A-B Emblems patches, not the Lion Brothers Apollo-Soyuz program patch, which is distinctly different. Thanks!

Kenny
Member

Posts: 14
From: Johnson City, Tennessee USA
Registered: Nov 2013

posted 11-15-2013 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kenny   Click Here to Email Kenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know, after looking at the NASA photo again, I'm not sure the Cyrillic "3" in the photo looks like the "3" on the 4 inch patch I've posted.

What do you think?

On the other hand, it does look like the one Stafford is wearing, which doesn't seem to resemble the others in some respects...

Aaarrgh...my eyes are playing tricks on me!

Kenny
Member

Posts: 14
From: Johnson City, Tennessee USA
Registered: Nov 2013

posted 11-18-2013 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kenny   Click Here to Email Kenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A Heritage Auction from 21 April 2010 featured this flown example of the 4 inch patch.

It appears to match the 4 inch patch on the right side of the photo at the top of this thread.

Kenny
Member

Posts: 14
From: Johnson City, Tennessee USA
Registered: Nov 2013

posted 11-18-2013 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kenny   Click Here to Email Kenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And another "flown" program patch here from 7 October 2008.

It, too, is 4 inches in width and appears to match the one on the right at the top of this thread.

Thoughts? Observations? Opinions?

Liembo
Member

Posts: 152
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 07-14-2014 02:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The major differences I can see between the examples is the bordering around the SM/CM, the lettering style and the border embroidery is distinctly different than the common A-B souvenir version.

I would like to note that there is also a 3" version of this variation as well. Note the border stitching technique:

I don't suspect this, or its 4" counterpart, are A-B Emblem products. Based on the bordering style, I suspect this is a Cape Kennedy Medals product.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 152
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 07-14-2014 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some more observations:

The patches worn in the crew photo linked above appear to be distinct from the A-B Emblem patches (and the patches with the CM/SM with border embroidery):

The CM/SM is very narrow, only marginally wider than the docking module and Soyuz. The "3" (Z) in Soyuz is curved but the gap between the endpoints is narrower than the A-B Emblem version. The top serif on the "A" is much wider than A-B's.

Does that mean there are three versions discussed in this thread?

A-B Emblem souvenir
Crew photo version
Flown souvenir version

Leonov appears to be wearing his ASTP Program patch over another patch and Kubasov's is in a different position than Leonov's.

In other ASTP training photos, Kubasov's jumpsuit lacks the ASTP patch altogether and Leonov's is sporting a 3" version of the ASTP patch, which is why the group photo appears to have a patch affixed over it:

Leonov with smaller ASTP patch: ASTP training photo at NASA Spaceflight archives.

Kubasov lacking a patch: ASTP training photo at NASA Spaceflight archives.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 152
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 08-19-2014 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found another example that very closely resembles the patch that the Apollo and Soyuz crews are wearing in their group photo.

Another tell-tale sign is the way the "APOLLO" word is closer to the blue at the end. Nearly all reproductions omit this detail and run the word Apollo aligned to the outer border.

The CKM version and Lion Brothers' versions do this properly.

All times are CT (US)

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