Flight Operations Directorate (FOD) emblem
The following was sent to all members of the new Flight Operations Directorate (FOD) in September 2014.
This Flight Operations Directorate emblem symbolizes and commemorates the flight operations team's unique contribution to human space flight since the Mercury program.
The sigma (∑) represents the total mission team, including astronauts, flight controllers, instructors, pilots, flight design, mission planning and production, facility development and operations and other support teams. The launch vector plume, divided into three parts with an orbital path circling it, represents the astronauts that are at the forefront of space exploration. It also represents the dynamic elements of space, the initial escape from our environment, and the thrust to explore the universe.
The orbiting star symbolizes a permanent human presence in space, conducting research, developing materials and leading the expanding utilization of the space environment. A single star is positioned over Houston, the home of the nation's human spaceflight operations. In the upper right of the emblem, the Moon and Mars represent our mission to lead the nation's permanent journey out of low Earth orbit.
The Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Shuttle, MIR and ISS programs are represented in the legacy ring on the bottom border, commemorating programs for which we have and continue to operate in space. On the upper border is the wording "Res Gesta Per Excellentiam" — "Achieve through Excellence" — which is the standard for our work. It represents an individual's commitment to a belief, to craftsmanship, and to perseverance, qualities required to continue the exploration of space and the quest for the stars.
The white stars in the background represent the four original principles of the Flight Operations team: discipline, morale, toughness, and competence. Today's core principles also include confidence, responsibility, teamwork and vigilance. Each of these words comes into the vocabulary of Flight Operations personnel at critical points in their development and is key to our operations and leadership culture.
The seventeen blue stars represent our fallen astronauts, to whom in part we dedicate our commitment to excellence. These symbols serve as a reminder of the real human cost and risks inherent to space flight and the ultimate responsibility the Flight Operations team bears in facing those risks.