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Author Topic:   Emblems on SpaceX's Dragon spacesuits
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 43940
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-31-2020 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No sign of a mission patch, but SpaceX's spacesuits have name tags.

The opposite arm has the NASA insignia and "SpaceX" embroidered in the same style as the crew's names.

Liembo
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From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 05-20-2020 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo   Click Here to Email Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine posted some photos (via Twitter) of the NASA insignia and worm patches on the SpaceX spacesuits.

I wasn't aware that PVC patches were spaceflight-rated, but apparently they must be?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-26-2020 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
SpaceX astronauts first to forgo wearing mission patch for launch since Gemini

The first NASA astronauts to launch from the United States in almost a decade will also be the first American crew in 55 years to lift off wearing spacesuits that lack a mission patch.

It is not that SpaceX's first mission to fly with astronauts does not have an official insignia — in fact, it has two — but rather, it was a choice made by the company to not add either a patch to the pressure garments that crew members Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will wear when they board the Dragon spacecraft for launch.

Mike Dixon
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From: Kew, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 05-26-2020 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Odd, to say the least.

Paul J. Brennan
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Posts: 127
From: Linden, CA
Registered: May 2019

posted 05-26-2020 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul J. Brennan   Click Here to Email Paul J. Brennan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe it has something to do with the material of the pressure suits? I doubt it. Maybe they'll wear one on their jumpsuits underneath the pressure suits? Hopefully, this is not a new trend.

ejectr
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Posts: 1769
From: Killingly, CT
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-26-2020 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Look at the difference, though. You remember the Gemini and Apollo suits? Even the shuttle orange suits.

Other than the shirt sleeve days of the shuttle... this is a pretty awesome change.

J Blackburn
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Posts: 226
From: Riner, Virginia USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-26-2020 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J Blackburn   Click Here to Email J Blackburn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would like to think SpaceX has their reasons but I am doubtful. They do not put out any mission patches until the mission is considered successful for the public to purchase.

However, the NASA DM-2 crew patch manufactured by AB Emblem been out for a while now and not placing it on the astronauts spacesuits raises my eyebrow. Even though this is a private company launch vehicle and spacecraft it is still very much a NASA mission with NASA astronauts.

Even if it were pressure suit related another form such as beta cloth or screen print should have been able to have been used. Like another person posted, maybe it will be on their flight coveralls or whatever else they will be wearing.

Another person posted "It is a pretty awesome change," that is by opinion only. The mission patch is symbolic and should not be changed but worn by its crew members. SpaceX has their own agenda and own way of thinking. The crew patch is tradition and a tradition should carry on.

usafspace
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From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-26-2020 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for usafspace   Click Here to Email usafspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I second that opinion!

MajTom7
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Posts: 38
From: Cocoa, FL USA
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 05-26-2020 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MajTom7   Click Here to Email MajTom7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on this quote, SpaceX would own the spacesuits so it's up to SpaceX what goes on them.

Discussing these differences with NASA Spaceflight is Steve Payne, the recently retired Commercial Crew Launch Integration Manager for NASA.

Unlike back in the day when NASA had control of everything, the commercial provider, in this case SpaceX, owns the rocket. They own the capsule. They own the roads in their launch pad and all the assembly and testing of their rocket. That's all theirs. Anything inside the pad perimeter belongs to them.

ejectr
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From: Killingly, CT
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-26-2020 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said, like it or not.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 891
From: CA.
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posted 05-26-2020 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One would assume the suits of the first successful commercial mission will end up in the Smithsonian, so it may also be a variant of the Gemini 5 move, e.g. the patch may not be sewn on to the suit until after a successful flight. (...and yes, I do realize the Gemini 5 crew did have their patches on their suits, just partially "under wraps").

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-26-2020 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the suits are offered to the Smithsonian and the institution accepts their donation, then it will likely be required that the suits be provided in the same configuration as they were used in flight. Although they sometimes did so in the past, the National Air and Space Museum generally does not accept altered artifacts for display today.

J Blackburn
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Posts: 226
From: Riner, Virginia USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-27-2020 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J Blackburn   Click Here to Email J Blackburn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Remember SpaceX is private and the suits belong to them.

I believe the first Dragon Cargo spacecraft is displayed at Hawthorne, as I expect the suits to be. Another option might be one remains at Hawthorne and the other donated to the Smithsonian. However, don't forget the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex where a lot of space history is on display and the suits lifted off from KSC.

oly
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From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 05-27-2020 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are a few points to consider about this issue, the first has been covered already, SpaceX owns the suits, it is their train set and they set the rules.

There are already several suits in existence, some of which were used for training, that SpaceX may send out for display, however, they also have the right to pull the flight suits apart to examine them for engineering purposes post-mission if they so wish.

Without knowing the design of the suit it is difficult to know what impact a mission patch would have on the suit function. Is the white outer surface of the suit just a covering? Or does it serve some critical function that adding extra additional failure nodes could prove detrimental? Does the printers ink or dye used for a stenciled design effect the suit material? And would an additional mission patch change the aesthetics SpaceX designers were going for (did they think it would be just plain ugly)? The use of the NASA worm typeface may have taken up suit real estate, or perhaps it was a choice between the US flag or a mission patch.

Perhaps SpaceX is an evil commercial monster trying to destroy decades of tradition and control the distribution of all collectible merchandise or a brand trying to maintain their brand identity. Whatever the reason I am sure that it will have a low priority on the list of engineering points needed to be controlled and monitored during the first crewed demonstration test flight. SpaceX appears to have allowed far more access to this mission than many expected.

David C
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From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 05-28-2020 04:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know what SpaceX's reasons are. I'll probably be in a minority of one here, but I would be more than happy to see the patch for every flight habit die off. I'll go further and say now that we not only have a patch for every flight, but some people also have their own personal patches, it's verging on the ridiculous.

I'd be happy to see it mature into something more sustainable like squadron and ship's badges, airplane type badges etc. Now if it's a real exploration mission, say "Mars One" or something, by all means then a mission patch is appropriate. But "random company Earth orbital capsule 426C", really? Why bother? SpaceX are moving away from a fairly sclerotic NASA past few decades. Now's as good a time for a change as any.

As I say though. I'm probably in a minority of one here.

oly
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From: Perth, Western Australia
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posted 05-28-2020 04:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David C:
As I say though. I'm probably in a minority of one here.
+1

Liembo
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From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 05-28-2020 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo   Click Here to Email Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Morale patches are nothing new and have a very long tradition.

If I was an engineer who worked on a Spacelab experiment for a university, for example, I would be absolutely stoked to see my project encapsulated in a patch or other insignia. An astronaut may not wear it, but I know it's on a sticker slapped on the side of the rack up in space and I may have received a patch for my participation.

It is often a symbol of pride. They celebrate teamwork and camaraderie. Astronauts wear personal patches to mark their mission goals or symbols of their stay. Just about every patch is earned through hard work, be it training, engineering or scientific research.

They also give the public something to mark the milestone with both visually and tangibly and even offer a way for the public to participate and take home a small part of the mission as a keepsake. The public doesn't see 95% of the patches that may accompany a single flight to the ISS, but every one of those insignias makes a team somewhere out there swell with pride.

We are almost a decade or two away from "random company" space mission getting lost in the noise. 700,000 simultaneous people watching NASA's YouTube feed alone show clearly shows that. Yes, the public's attention always wanes, but there is a subset of people that enjoy mission, payload and experiment insignias no matter how ubiquitous spaceflight may become and I hope that tradition lasts. It's not like it's hurting anybody.

lucspace
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Posts: 413
From: Hilversum, The Netherlands
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 05-28-2020 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lucspace   Click Here to Email lucspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good argumentation Liem. The reason mission patches exist is that the crews want them.

Moreover, it is not like SpaceX is ending the patch tradition. The embroidered one simply won't be on the flight suit. It was highly visible in many other places on SpaceX territory during the DM-2 first launch attempt.

I don't quite understand why anyone would make a point of stressing NOT being interested in something discussed in this forum among enthusiasts...

David C
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Posts: 1070
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 05-29-2020 03:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, as Luc quite rightly points out, patches haven't gone away. I guess that so long as crews want them, and operators are happy to authorise them, then they'll continue.

Liem, your point about morale patches and stickers is a completely unrelated subject. If Acme Pharmaceutical launch their Novel Integrated Medicated RNA Organ Donation experiment and they choose to produce a patch and stickers, why not? Similarly, if the University of Anywhere State Astrophysics department flies their Coronal Research Astrophysics Package and want their stickers for that then have at it.

quote:
Originally posted by lucspace:
I don't quite understand why anyone would make a point of stressing NOT being interested in something discussed in this forum among enthusiasts...
The reason that you don't quite understand it is quite simple. If you go back and read what I wrote you will see that I didn't write what you said I did. Don't assume that you are somehow more enthusiastic about spaceflight than I am.

Currently, I have a set of Liem's Mercury shingle patches on order. I have a full set of Apollo beta cloths. Walt Cunningham's Apollo 7 "re-issue" and original design. Several Grumman Apollo Xs, several versions of the Apollo XVII white eagles, I have an original Apollo 1, a flown Gemini X and Apollo XI. Lots of the authentic reproduction STS-1s, AS-13s, AS-11s, MSC T-38s, the LM patches, the authentic reproduction Gemini sets, etc. I like good, and/or significant patches. Please do not make things up that I did not write.

Anyway, I have a DM-2 patch in the mail, but who knows when I will actually receive it. It's an historic mission so I had to get one. However, in my opinion, the only other noteworthy feature of the design is its instant forgettability. The various CST-100 patches have been of a similar low standard.

This is the main reason that I'd be happy to see a patch per flight go the way of dinosaurs. There are only so many good variations on the same theme out there. Now Crew 1 on the other hand is outstanding. The best patch I can remember in a very long time (I'd have to wade through them all to fairly put a number on it, but it really is a stand out).

I reckon SpaceX should have quit whilst they're ahead and made that the Dragon spacecraft patch. I doubt we'll see much better.

All times are CT (US)

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