NASA's space shuttle program held an in-house contest over the past few months to have its prior and present employees design a commemorative patch marking the orbiters' upcoming retirement scheduled for later this year.
Eighty-five submissions were offered by space program workers ranging from shuttle technicians to flight controllers to astronauts.
Shuttle program managers, serving as judges, recently chose their 15 favorite designs to take part in a "People's Choice" poll among NASA's employees. The judges will take into account the result of that vote when selecting the winning artwork, which will fly aboard STS-132, the final scheduled flight of space shuttle Atlantis.
The open-to-employees-only People's Choice poll runs from Jan. 11 through Jan. 29. After hearing the desire for a public vote, collectSPACE.com organized its own Fans' Choice poll. Though unofficial, the Fans' Choice will be open for the same dates as NASA's official poll to learn if the fans pick the same design as the employees.
NASA’s spaces shuttle program is slated to end in the fall after five final missions to complete the International Space Station. The agency’s next shuttle flight – the STS-130 mission of Endeavour – is set to launch on Feb. 7.
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