AIR SPACE

The Art of NASA: Brilliant Mission Patches

NASA's mission patches range from sleek and futuristic to florid, whimsical, beautiful, and downright homey. They serve as emblems of each unique adventure -- personalized tokens of the human drive to confront and understand the unknown. See the full gallery at Life.com.

Shuttle STS-134 logo

STS-134, Endeavour, April 29-May 12

The patch for STS-134 -- Endeavour's final mission, crewed by commander Mark Kelly, pilot Gregory H. Johnson and mission specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel as well as European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

NASA

Mercury 7 patch

Mercury 7, May 24, 1962

Scott Carpenter was the second American astronaut to orbit the Earth, a few months after John Glenn's historic flight.

NASA

Gemini 4 patch

Gemini 4, June 3-7, 1965

Astronaut Ed White completed the first American spacewalk on this mission. The patch wasn't actually worn into space but created after the mission.

NASA

Apollo 13 patch

Apollo 13, April 11-17, 1970

An explosion on board scrubbed the original mission to the moon, but astronauts James Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, incredibly, still made it safely back to Earth. The Latin phrase on the patch, Ex Luna, Scientia, translates as From the Moon, Knowledge.

NASA

Apollo 1 patch

Apollo 1, Scheduled for February 21, 1967

On January 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee died in a fire in the command module during a preflight test for Apollo 1.

NASA

STS-133 patch

STS-133, Discovery, February 24-March 9

The Final mission of space shuttle Discovery. For more great NASA patches, see the full gallery at Life.com.

NASA

The Art of NASA: Brilliant Mission Patches

NASA's mission patches range from sleek and futuristic to florid, whimsical, beautiful, and downright homey. They serve as emblems of each unique adventure -- personalized tokens of the human drive to confront and understand the unknown. See the full gallery at Life.com.

More From Our Sponsors