Mission Operations Lapel Pin
The Mission Operations Directorate emblem was developed for the mission control team to recognize their unique contribution to the manned space program. The original emblem was designed by Robert T. McCall in April 1973. In late 1983, the decision was made to retain all of the elements of the original patch and update it to support the Shuttle program. A further revision was made in late 2004, with the artistic help of graphic designer Mike Okuda, to incorporate the International Space Station into the design to recognize the achievements and contributions of the team supporting that program.Honoring the Past, Present, and Future
The Mission Operations emblem as depicted in the current version incorporates or retains elements that honor Mission Control's past achievements, present commitments, and places an eye toward the future. The following summarizes the significant features for each:
At the top of the emblem, the Moon and Mars represent the future. It is taken as a given that mankind will one day spread into the heavens, and these elements remind of Mission Control's intent to lead the way. The wording “RES GESTA PER EXCELLENTIAM“ on the patch were chosen to stress the very positive attitude used by the mission control team to assure crew safety and mission success. "Achieve through Excellence" is the standard for their work. It represents an individual's commitment to a belief, to craftsmanship, and to perseverance. With the above qualities, a positive approach is created that assures objective accomplishment and the return of the crew.
The central part of the emblem symbolizes Mission Control's present responsibilties. The sigma represents the total mission team. In addition, it represents the individual flight control teams from all programs past, present, and future. Within the teams, it represents all engineering, scientific, and operations disciplines and tasks in support of the spacecraft and aircraft program elements, reminding that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The Shuttle launch represents the dynamic elements of space, the initial escape from our environment, and the thrust to explore the universe. The four stars on the Shuttle’s plume represent the basic principles of the flight control team identified during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs: Discipline, morale, toughness, and competence. Their place along the Shuttle’s plume reminds that these are the foundation upon which each mission is flown.
The orbiting International Space Station symbolizes that man is now a permanent element in space, conducting research and developing materials leading to the commercial utilization of the space environment. The ISS is shown in its ‘assembly complete’ configuration to denote NASA's focus and commitment to achieving this goal.
The remaining elements are the Earth, the comet, and the stars.
The Earth is our home and will forever be serviced by both manned and unmanned spacecrafts in order to improve the quality of life of our present home.
A single star is positioned over Houston on the representation of North America, the home of U.S. human spaceflight operations and the first word transmitted from the surface of the moon.
The seventeen stars in the background represent NASA's fallen astronauts, to whom in part Mission Control dedicates their commitment to excellence.
The comet represents all those individuals who have given their lives for space exploration. It serves as a reminder of the risks inherent to space flight and recognizes that Mission Operations provides the margin that makes the risk acceptable.
The bottom border of the patch contains symbols to represent the three early programs that have been supported by the team. The Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, joined by the Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, have seen a succession of many great moments. These programs succeeded because of the dedication of the many people who formed the teams and committed their being to the team.