NASA's space shuttle program held an in-house contestover the past few months to have its prior and present employees design acommemorative patch marking the orbiters' upcoming retirement scheduledfor later this year.
Eighty-five submissions were offered by space programworkers ranging from shuttle technicians to flight controllers toastronauts.
Shuttle program managers, serving as judges, recently chosetheir 15 favorite designs to take part in a "People'sChoice" poll among NASA'semployees. The judges will take into account the result of thatvote 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 throughJan. 29. After hearing the desire for a public vote, collectSPACE.comorganized its own Fans'Choice poll. Though unofficial, the Fans' Choice will beopen for the same dates as NASA's official poll to learn ifthe fans pick the same design as the employees.
NASA’s spaces shuttle program is slated to end in the fall after fivefinal missions to complete the International Space Station. The agency’snext shuttle flight – the STS-130 mission of Endeavour – is set tolaunch on Feb. 7.
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Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for Space.com and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.