Insignia/Heraldry of the Space Race

(1 April 2011)


Spaceflight Mission Patches website by Eugene Dorr
NASA Human Spaceflight Web Gallery – Shuttle
NASA Human Spaceflight Web Gallery – Apollo-Soyuz
NASA Human Spaceflight Web Gallery – Apollo
NASA Human Spaceflight Web Gallery – Gemini

NOTES: I've chosen to terminate this listing's comprehensiveness at STS-4, which was the Shuttle's last “test” flight before it became operational. It also saves me the time of tracking down all 130+ mission patches for STS. Eventually though, I will track down more and more shuttle flights for completeness' sake.

Agency Insignia

NACA Standard Seal

NASA ID: GPN-2000-00 1539 (3094 x 2219 JPG)
Notes: On April 24, 1941, at the semi-annual meeting of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the official NACA Standard Seal was approved to be used on buildings under construction. The insignia portrayed a shield with a wing on either side and the letters "NACA" inscribed across it.


NASA ID: GPN-2000-00 1838 (2848 x 2256 JPG)
Notes: The seal depicts the first human-controlled, powered flight made by the Wright brothers in December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.


NASA ID: GPN-2002-00 0195 (2750 x 2750 Bad JPG) (2000 x 2007 Wiki PNG) (Wikipedia SVG)
Notes: The sphere represents a planet, the stars symbolize space, and the red chevron signifies aeronautics (the latest design in hypersonic wings in 1959) with an orbiting spacecraft around the wing.

NASA Insignia (Meatball)

NASA ID: Unknown at Present (2000 x 1700 Wiki PNG) (Wikipedia SVG)
Designed By: James Modarelli
Notes: The sphere represents a planet, the stars for space, the vector for aeronautics and the orbit for space travel. Colors are: PMS185 (red) and PMS 286 (blue).

NASA Logo (Worm)

NASA ID: Unknown at Present (2000 x 594 Wiki PNG) (Wikipedia SVG)

Roscosmos Logo

Russian ID: None Known Yet (2000 x 2420 Wiki PNG) (Wikipedia SVG)

Program Insignia

Gemini Program Insignia

NASA ID: JSC-S65-54354 (3000 x 2987 JPG)
Notes: The insignia of the Gemini space program is a disc of dark blue as a background for a gold Zodiac Gemini symbol. A white star on each of the two vertical curves of the Gemini symbol represent the Gemini twins, Pollux and Castor.

Apollo Program Insignia

NASA ID: JSC-S65-55202
Notes: The insignia for the Apollo program is a disk circumscribed by a band displaying the words Apollo and NASA. The center disc bears a large letter "A" with the constellation Orion positioned so its three central stars form the bar of the letter. To the right is a sphere of the earth, with a sphere of the moon in the upper left portion of the center disc. The face on the moon represents the mythical god, Apollo. A double trajectory passes behind both spheres and through the central stars.

Skylab Program Insignia

NASA ID: JSC-S73-23952 (1033 x 1037 JPG from Smithsonian)
Notes: The emblem depicts the United States Skylab space station cluster in Earth orbit with the Sun in the background.

Space Shuttle Program Insignia

NASA ID: C-1977-01014

MMU Program Insignia

NASA ID: JSC-S83-41848

Apollo 20th Anniversary Emblem

NASA ID #A: MSFC-75-SA-4105-2C
NASA ID #B: S89-20024
Notes: This logo represents the Commemorative 20th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar mission. Housed inside the zero of the numeral twenty is the original flight insignia in which an Eagle descending upon the lunar surface depicts the LM, named ?Eagle.

Extended Duration Orbiter Insignia

NASA ID: JSC-S90-39797
Notes: The insignia incorporates a space shuttle orbiter with payload bay doors (PLBDs) open and a spacelab module inside. Trailing the orbiter are the initials EDO. The EDO-modified Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102, will be flown for the first EDO mission, STS-50.

Apollo 25th Anniversary Emblem

NASA ID #A: JSC-S93-40314
NASA ID #B: 93-HC-312
NASA ID #C: 93-H-336
Notes: This Official NASA commemorative logo marks the 25th anniversary of the first lunar landing. The design incorporates an eagle, from the original Apollo 11 crew insignia, descending toward the lunar surface with an olive branch, symbolizing America's peaceful mission in space.

Mars Surveyor Logo

JPL ID: 124195 (1800 x 1725 JPG)
Designed by: David Seal

Mars Exploration Rover Logo

NASA ID: KSC-03PD-1374

Space Shuttle 30th Anniversary

NASA ID: JSC2010-E-079335 (2100 x 2625 JPG)
Designed by: Blake Dumesnil
Notes: As the Space Shuttle Program has been an innovative, iconic gem in the history of American spaceflight, the overall shape of the patch and its faceted panels are reminiscent of a diamond or other fine jewel. The shape of the patch fans out from a fine point at the bottom to a wide array across the top, to evoke the vastness of space and our aim to explore it, as the Shuttle has done successfully for decades. The outlined blue circle represents the Shuttle's exploration within low Earth orbit, but also creates a dynamic fluidity from the bottom right around to the top left to allude to the smoothness of the Shuttle orbiting the earth. The diagonal lines cascading down into the top right corner of the design form the American Flag as the Shuttle has been one of the most recognizable icons in American history over the last three decades. In the top left and right panels of the design, there are seven prominent stars on each side which represent the 14 crew members that were lost on shuttles Challenger and Columbia. Inside of the middle panel to the right of the Shuttle, there are five larger, more prominent stars that signify the five Space Shuttle vehicles NASA has had in its fleet throughout the program.

Specific Mission Insignia

Name Order Rules on Insignia

Gemini: Command Pilot / Pilot
Apollo: Commander / Command Module Pilot / Lunar Module Pilot
ASTP: Commander / Command Module Pilot / Docking Module Pilot
Shuttle Test Period: Commander / Pilot

Gemini 4

Artist: US Army Institute of Heraldry
Notes: The crew decided to make the U.S. Flag their emblem after they were denied permission to name their spacecraft American Eagle.

Gemini 5

Name Order: Cooper / Conrad
NASA ID: S66-59530 (3000 x 3000 JPG)
Designer: Pete Conrad
Meaning: The covered wagon symbolizes pioneer spirit of space exploration.

Gemini 6

Name Order: Schirra / Stafford
NASA ID: S65-55983 (3000 x 2400 JPG)
Designer: Wally Schirra
Notes: After the Agena failed to reach orbit, the patch was remade with GEMINI 6 replacing G-T-A-6 and the Agena's outline on the patch was replaced by another Gemini spacecraft.

Gemini 7

Name Order: No Names on Patch
NASA ID: S65-54129
Designer: James Lovell
Artist: NASA Artist

Gemini 8

Name Order: Armstrong / Scott
NASA ID: S66-23978

Gemini 9A

Name Order: No Names on Patch
NASA ID: S66-28075

Gemini 10

Name Order: No Names on Patch
NASA ID: S66-41532
Artist: Barbara Young

Gemini 11

Name Order: Conrad / Gordon
NASA ID: S66-44308

Gemini 12

Name Order: Lovell / Aldrin
NASA ID: S66-51710
Designer: James Lovell
Artist: McDonnell Art Department

Apollo 1

Name Order: White / Grissom / Chaffee
NASA ID: S66-36742 (2897 x 3000 JPG)
Designer: Crew
Artist: Allen Stevens

Apollo 7

Name Order: Schirra / Eisele / Cunningham
NASA ID: S68-26668 (8351 x 6630 JPG)
Designer: Walt Cunningham
Artist: Allen Stevens

Apollo 8 (Early)

Name Order: Anders / Borman / Lovell
NASA ID: S68-53480
Artist: Allen Stevens
Notes: This design was likely executed for the original Earth orbit mission, before the change to C-Prime (Moon orbit) was made.

Apollo 8 (Flown)

Name Order: Borman / Lovell / Anders
NASA ID: S68-51093 (6187 x 6187 JPG)
Designer: James Lovell
Artist: Gene Rickman

Apollo 9

Name Order: McDivitt / Scott / Schweickart
NASA ID Original: S69-18569 (6569 x 6569 JPG)
NASA ID Variant: S69-19974
Designer: Crew
Artist: Allen Stevens

Apollo 10

Name Order: Stafford / Young / Cernan
NASA ID: S69-31959 (5516 x 5516 JPG)
Designer: Crew
Artist: Allen Stevens

Apollo 11

Name Order: No Names on Patch
NASA ID: S69-34875 (2528 x 1999 JPG)
Designer: Michael Collins
Artist: James R. Cooper

Apollo 12

Name Order: Conrad / Gordon / Bean
NASA ID: S69-52336 (3598 x 3667 JPG)
Designer: Crew
Artist: Victor Craft

Apollo 13

Name Order: No Names on Patch
NASA ID: S69-60662 (3969 x 3969 JPG)
Designer: Lumen Winter
Artist: Norman Tiller

Apollo 14

Name Order: Shepard / Roosa / Mitchell
NASA ID: S70-17851 (6142 x 4914 JPG)
Designer: Crew
Artist: Jean Bealieu

Apollo 14 (Backup Crew)

Name Order: Cernan / Evans / Engle
NASA ID: None, as it was privately made. (600 x 536 JPG)
Notes: Secretly placed all over various pieces of equipment on Apollo 14 for the prime crew to find. In the words of Al Shepard from the Apollo 14 Command Module Flight Recorder transcript: “beep, beep, beep all over the place.”

Apollo 15

Name Order: Scott / Worden / Irwin
NASA ID: S71-30463 (6688 x 6469 JPG)
Designer: Emilio Pucci
Artist: Jerry Elmore

Apollo 16

Name Order: Young / Mattingly / Duke
NASA ID: S71-56246 (3072 x 3072 JPG)
Designer: Crew
Artist: Barbara Matelski

Apollo 17

Name Order: Cernan / Evans / Schmitt
NASA ID: S72-49079 (3000 x 3000 JPG)
Designer: Crew
Artist: Robert McCall
Meaning: The insignia is dominated by the image of Apollo, the Greek sun god. Suspended in space behind the head of Apollo is an American eagle of contemporary design, the red bars of the eagle's wing represent the bars in the United States flag; the three white stars symbolize the three astronaut crewmen. The background is deep blue space and within it are the moon, the planet Saturn and a spiral galaxy or nebula. The moon is partially overlaid by the eagle's wing suggesting that this is a celestial body that man has visited and in that sense conquered. The thrust of the eagle and the gaze of Apollo to the right and toward Saturn and the galaxy is meant to imply that man's goals in space will someday include the planets and perhaps the stars. The colors of the emblem are red, white and blue, the colors of our flag; with the addition of gold, to symbolize the golden age of space flight that will begin with this Apollo 17 lunar landing. The Apollo image used in this emblem was the famous Apollo of Belvedere sculpture now in the Vatican Gallery in Rome.

Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test (SMEAT)

Name Order: Crippen / Bobko / Thornton
NASA ID: JSC-S72-44715

Skylab I

Name Order: Conrad / Kerwin / Weitz
NASA ID: S72-52630
Designer/Artist: Frank Kelly Freas

Skylab II

Name Order: Bean / Gordon / Lousma
NASA ID: S72-51123
Designer/Artists: Open Competition between McDonnell and North American Rockwell's Art Departments, which was refereed by the Astronauts. McDonnell's department won the contest

Skylab II (Wives)

Name Order: Sue / Helen-Mary / Gratia
Designer/Artist: Ardis Shanks
Notes: These were secretly placed in the CM for crew to find.

Skylab III

Name Order: Carr / Gibson / Pogue
NASA ID: S72-53094
Designer: Crew
Artist: Barbara Matelski

ASTP (U.S. Crew Patch)

Name Order: Stafford / Brand / Slayton and Лео́нов / Кубасов (Leonov / Kubasov)
NASA ID: S75-20361 (6000 x 5465 JPG)
Designer: Jean Pinataro
Artist: Jean Pinataro and Robert McCall
Description/Meaning: Of circular design, the insignia has a colorful border area, outlined in red, with the names of the five crew members and the words Apollo in English and Soyuz in Russian around an artist's concept of the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft about to dock in Earth orbit. The bright sun and the blue and white Earth are in the background. The white stars on the blue background represent American astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, commander; Vance D. Brand, command module pilot; and Donald (Deke) K. Slayton, docking module pilot. The dark gold stars on the red background represent Soviet cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov, commander, and Valeriy N. Kubasov, engineer.

ASTP (Project Patch)

Name Order: No Names on Patch
NASA ID: S74-17843 (7066 x 7066 JPG)
Designer/Artist: Unknown Russian Artist.

ASTP (Soviet Crew Patch)

Name Order: No Names on Patch
Designer/Artist: Unknown Russian Artist.

Shuttle Approach and Landing Test (ALT)

Name Order: Haise / Fullerton and Engle / Truly
NASA ID: JSC-S76-30340


Name Order: Young / Crippen
NASA ID: JSC-S79-30685 (6773 x 7370 JPG)
Artist: Robert McCall


Name Order: Engle / Truly


Name Order: Lousma / Fullerton


Name Order: Mattingly / Hartsfield

STS-27 (Return-To-Space – Post-Challenger)

Name Order (L to R): Gibson / Mullane / Ross / Shepherd / Gardener
NASA ID: S88-41481 (5728 x 5186 JPG)
Meaning: The patch depicts the space shuttle lifting off against the multi-colored backdrop of a rainbow, symbolizing the triumphal return to flight of our nation's manned space program. The design also commemorates the memory of the crew of Challenger mission STS-51-L, represented by the seven stars.