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.

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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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