Design your own Mission Patch Guide
Companies and agencies all over the World give a special logo to their space missions, known as a mission patch.
It isn't at all unusual for Mission Patches to be decided by a competition to encourage young people to be inspired about space exploration and science. Indeed, as I write this guide, Skyrora, a Scotland Launching Rocket Company is running a competition (ending on 13th July 2020) to design a patch for their first ever launch of the Skylark Micro rocket! (Check out the competition here)
So how do you go about designing a Mission Patch? Well your imagination is the limit of course, but here are some good ideas to get you started.
1. Find out a little about the mission. the vehicle, destination, purpose, instruments etc. Find out what makes this mission, so special!
2. List out a few of those special features that you think really tell the story of the mission, so that if you had to explain it to someone with just three or 4 mission elements, you think they'd get a good view of what's going to happen.
OK so you've done all your research, and you're even more excited about the mission you're going to shoot to win the design award for the patch. That's critical in science, engineering and space - always come prepared!
Now, we're ready to get into the really exciting part - Design.
3. First, select your mission patch shape. Most are round, but yours could be an oval, a rectangle, a triangle, a space-ship or anything you can image!
4. Now your list of Mission attributes comes in handy! Put next to each of your top 3 or 4 a symbol that you think could describe it. For example:
Is the mission going to re-supply the Lunar Gateway station around the Moon? If so, you might have decided that the rocket is really important, the fact that the moon is the destination is key to the mission, and perhaps you think the fact astronauts live there who will use the supplies is the coolest part of all.
So. We will need to show a rocket ship. Definitely need to show the station in orbit around the moon, and maybe an astronaut on a space-walk too! This is starting to sound like a great mission patch! Can you imagine yours yet?
Try to populate your mission patch shape with your chosen symbols in a cool and meaningful way. Remember, you are telling the story of the mission in just one picture.
5. Do you want to add words? A lot of missions use Latin phrases because they sound so clever, but any phrase that sums up the "why" of the mission can be a great addition.
For our Moon mission above, we could say some cool latin: "Ad Astra et Infinitum" (To the Stars and Infinity) but that doesn't really ring true for our mission. Can you think of an english phrase that sums it up? You could make one up: "Supplying the Gateway to the Moon, the planets and Human exploration."
You might decide you don't need words, and that is totally fine too.
6. Don't forget to colour your mission patch in and... submit it!
Good luck with putting your stamp on a real space mission. Don't forget to let us know what you submit using this guide and how you do in the contest!